This is the ORIGINAL blue eyed/brown eyed exercise with 3rd graders. This best-selling program, produced by ABC News, was the first video to document Jane Elliott’s courageous undertaking to help her third grade class understand the meaning of prejudice.
Following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., her, all-white, all-Christian third grade class hungered to understand the significance Dr. King’s mission. Living in the homogenous farming community of Riceville, Iowa, many of Ms. Elliott’s students harbored subtle and not so subtle prejudices despite the fact that many of them had never even seen a black man before. So where did these prejudices come from? And, more importantly, how could she make them understand how arbitrary and unfair they were?
This video chronicles her now famous exercise where she divides her class based upon the color of their eyes and bestows privileges upon one group and impediments on the other group. Needless to say, her eye color exercise created quite a storm at the time. But her work endures to this day and this ABC video, nearly 35 years later, still has a great deal to teach us.
The video shows how easily prejudicial attitudes can lead to frustration, broken friendships and vicious behavior. Many label this the beginning of Diversity Training. If you’re only buying one Jane Elliott program, make it this one.
Eye of the Storm sends as powerful a message today as it did when filmed back in the 1960s. Through the eyes of elementary school children, the video depicts serious issues around prejudice and discrimination that adults face today …. has played an integral part in delivering our message of diversity and inclusion to associates nationwide. Robert Jarrett, Bank of America