January 5, 1999

Advocate and Speaker Jane Elliott Presents "The Anatomy of Prejudice" at Middlebury College on Jan. 25

Praise for Elliott's "Brown Eyes/Blue Eyes" Program: "Over 800 students, faculty, staff, and community members attended this event. … Students have continued to speak about the impact that Ms. Elliott has had on them. Many students have changed their attitudes towards individuals who are different from themselves." --Jodi Garbin, Student Life Office, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Mich.

Jane Elliott, a former teacher from Iowa who has committed herself to leading a fight against prejudice for the past 30 years, will conduct a three-hour workshop at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 25 in Middlebury College's Mead Chapel on Hepburn Road off College Street (Route 125). The event is free and open to the public.

Elliot continues to rivet the attention of her college, military, and corporate audiences with the nationally acclaimed "Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes" exercise that first captured the attention of her third-grade class the day after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968.

In her workshop, she divides members of her audience into two groups based on a physical characteristic over which they have no control-eye color. Declaring that those with brown eyes are more intelligent, better behaved, quicker to learn, and in every way superior to those with blue eyes, she grants privileges to the brown-eyed group that are denied to the blue-eyed group.

Elliott's thought-provoking and enlightening exercise causes many to experience for the first time a bigotry that numerous people encounter throughout their lives, and offers new understanding as a result.

The "Blue Eyed/Brown Eyed" program pioneered diversity training and has been featured on "Oprah," "Today," "The Tonight Show," ABC News, and PBS's "Frontline." Elliott and her work have been the subject of three award-winning films: "Eye of the Storm," "Eye of the Beholder," and "Blue Eyed." Disney Studios currently plans to produce a feature-length film starring Susan Sarandon as Elliott.

For more info, call Mary Duffy, women's studies administrator, at 802-443-5937.