University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
The Student Teachers Anti-Racism Society (STARS) promotes anti-racism education at the College of Education, University of Saskatchewan through the support of the College. We work collaboratively to understand, identify, and address individual and systemic racism and its interlocking forms of oppression based on gender, sexuality, ability, class, religion and other socially constructed categories. We believe that anti-racist and decolonizing education, when woven together, can create humanizing and emancipatory change for everyone.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Blue Eyes: The Jane Elliot website

The website provides teaching resources and information about her many videos - most can be found at the Saskatoon public and U of S libraries.
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. Everyone who is exposed to Jane Elliott's work, be it through a lecture, workshop, or video, is dramatically affected by it.

Her first film, Eye of the Storm (1970), can be used with primary students as the exercise takes place with her grade three students.

Middle years and secondary students can watch Indecently Exposed (2005), which takes place in Regina and is an excellent documentary to show students after they have examined and can recognize individual, institutionalized and systemic racism in Canada. Debriefing is needed after viewing.

Indecently Exposed discussion questions:

1. What frequently happens in Canada when racially oppressed groups such as Indigenous peoples protest against discrimination and oppression?
2. What does Elliot mean when she says, ‘blue eyes and brown eyes do not live in the same country’?
3. According to Elliot, how does the dominant population ‘play with the minds of those who are racially Othered’?
4. Why is tolerance not enough to challenge racial inequality?
5. How can one person work to challenge racial inequality in her or his own community?

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