Monday, May 25, 2009

Eye of the Storm

Originally called "The Eye of the Storm" in the early '70's, my fourth grade teacher made us watch this documentary on a movie (reel) projector. Every since (1971), Jane Elliot has been a heroine to me, teaching about discrimination in a totally unique way. Everytime I hear the song "High Hopes", I think about her. I have followed her for several years. She continued doing similar workshops at prisones and companies around the country. There are some youtubes of these. You can also now find her DVDs at libraries, but they are titled "A Class Divided." I encourage you to watch the programs in their entirety. They are amazing. There are also parts 3,4, 5 and 6 to these youtubes.

Jane Elliott, internationally known teacher, lecturer, diversity trainer, and recipient of the National Mental Health Association Award for Excellence in Education, exposes prejudice and bigotry for what it is, an irrational class system based upon purely arbitrary factors. And if you think this does not apply to you. . . you are in for a rude awakening.
In response to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. over thirty years ago, Jane Elliott devised the controversial and startling, "Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes" exercise. This, now famous, exercise labels participants as inferior or superior based solely upon the color of their eyes and exposes them to the experience of being a minority. Everyone who is exposed to Jane Elliott's work, be it through a lecture, workshop, or video, is dramatically affected by it. Decades after she stopped teaching in Riceville, Iowa schools, she is still not welcome in the community. She supposedly “is detested by residents as an arrogant, self-centered opportunist who turned against her town and inflicted untold harm on hundreds of Riceville’s children.”


Anonymous said...


Is Jane Elliot still alive coz am really thinkin to invite her over to our school, coz eventhough i was born and raised in the US but coz am havin some middle eastern features am still bein discriminated against.

Thank you soo much for the clip.

B said...

Jane Elliott has a website, Looks like she charges up to $6,000 a day for workshops! ROFL But she does have an email contact on her site if you want to try to contact her. Good luck to you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the info.
highly appreciated:)