Office of University Relations
SDSM& T News
501 E. St. Joseph Street • Rapid City, SD 57701- 3995
Phone: ( 605) 394- 6082/ 2554 • Fax: ( 605) 394- 6177
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
( October 26, 1998)
JANE ELLIOTT TO PRESENT PROGRAM ON PREJUDICE AND RACISM AT SDSM& T ON THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 5
Nationally known race relations expert Jane Elliott, who conducted the “ Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes” exercises to demonstrate discrimination, will present a program on prejudice at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology on Thursday evening, November 5. The provocative three- hour program will begin at 6: 00 p. m. in the Surbeck Center Ballroom.
The event is open to the general public, but tickets are required. Tickets are $ 3 ($ 2 with a canned food donation) and are available at the Surbeck Center front desk. Although admission is free with Tech ID to students, faculty and staff and a guest, tickets must still be picked up in advance. Tickets will guarantee seating only until 5: 45 p. m., when the doors will be opened to non- ticket holders for seating on a first- come, first- served basis.
Elliott developed her “ Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes” exercises to demonstrate discrimination to her third grade students following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1968. Over the past twenty years, the former Iowa teacher has committed herself to leading a fight against prejudice, ignorance and racism in society. Today her audience is much broader than her third- grade class, including teachers, students, military and corporate America.
In her workshops she divides people on the basis of two arbitrary physical properties— blue or brown eyes. She declares the latter to be better and more intelligent and grants them privileges she denies to the blue- eyed group. For the first time many white people experience the feeling of being discriminated against, similar to the discrimination experienced by many minority groups. In a short period of time Jane Elliott manages to build up a realistic microcosm of society with all the rage and feelings found in our society at large.
Jane Elliott and her work have been the subject of three documentaries: Eye of the Storm, Eye of the Beholder, and the 1996 release of Blue Eyed. Elliott is to be the subject of a feature length film produced by Disney and starring Susan Sarandon.
“ We are very pleased to bring someone of Jane Elliott’s stature to our campus and to make her presentation available to the area community,” said Dr. Douglas Lange, SDSM& T Dean of Students. “ Be prepared. You will be changed.”
Jane Elliott’s program is being sponsored by TONITE ( Tech’s Outrageous New Initiative for Total Entertainment), SDSM& T’s student programming board. For additional information, call TONITE at 394- 2652.
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