Whittier College News Release

For Immediate Release - March 9, 1999
Media Contact
Reference: 98/99: 78

Pioneer in Diversity Training to Speak at Whittier College

Jane Elliott, creator of the "Blue Eyed/Brown Eyed" experiment in prejudice, will speak at the Club at Whittier College at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 11.

Elliott was a third-grade teacher in Iowa when Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968. The day after his death, she divided her all-Anglo class of students into groups based on eye color in an effort to teach the issue of discrimination. She now uses the same experiment to educate college students, instructors and corporate officials. The exercise forces those in the "majority" to experience life as one who has been rendered powerless on the basis of a physical trait over which he or she has no control.

In her live presentation, Elliott contends, "A white person who has been raised and socialized in America has been conditioned to be a racist...We live in two countries, one black and one white."

Her work has been featured on "Oprah," "Today," "The Tonight Show," "ABC News" and the PBS series "Frontline." Three award-winning films featured her work as well--"Eye of the Storm," "Eye of the Beholder" and "Blue Eyed."

Located 18 miles east of Los Angeles, Whittier College is an independent, four-year college offering traditional liberal arts majors and strong pre-professional programs taught in the context of the liberal arts. Whittier Law School, which is accredited by the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools, is located on a separate campus. The Club is located on the lover level of Dexter Student Center near the corner of Earlham Drive and Painter Avenue.

Whittier College Office of Communications
13406 Philadelphia P.O. Box 634 Whittier, CA 90608-0634
Tel: (562) 907-4213 Fax: (562) 907-4927