The University Record, January 30, 1995

‘Brown eye/blue eye’ experiment creator Jane Elliott will give two free workshops

Jane Elliott, producer of the Emmy-Award winning documentary “Eye of the Beholder,” which is based on her “brown-eye/blue-eye” experiment, will facilitate two free diversity workshops Feb. 1 and 2. Her appearance is sponsored by the U-M Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE).

Elliott deals with discrimination and the feelings associated with being an “outsider” or “insider” through a sensitizing experiment in which participants are labeled inferior or superior based on their eye color.

The experiment began in a third grade classroom in all-white, all-Christian Riceville, Iowa, immediately after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., and has been repeated with dramatic results with children and adults nationwide.

NSBE President Lisa M. Dupree says the purpose of bringing Elliott to campus is “to educate and increase the awareness of students, faculty and staff about what it is like to be a minority in a majority world.

“This program is not designed to be a ‘race bashing’ workshop, nor an opportunity for pointing out individuals as racists,” Dupree explains.

“The first goal is to increase the awareness of faculty and staff about the feelings of minority students,” to be accomplished through a workshop designed specifically for faculty and staff.

“The second goal is to increase awareness among students, hopefully having them leave with the feeling that they understand or would like to understand the feelings of minority students.”

The campuswide workshop will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday (Feb. 1) in Rackham Auditorium. The faculty/staff workshop will begin at 3 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 2) in Chrysler Center Auditorium.

For information, call Lisa Payton, 763-5452.