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?