TU’s Center for Student Diversity to host famous anti-racism educator

Jane Elliott brings her “blue eyes, brown eyes” exercise to campus as part of the Student Affairs Diversity Speaker Series

Towson University continues to give its students access to some of the world’s most influential minds of the time.

Each semester, Towson University’s Center for Student Diversity brings culturally relevant speakers, educators, activists and entertainers to campus as part of the The Diversity Speaker Series.

The Fall 2016 Speaker Series Event is Jane Elliott’s discussion entitled “The Anatomy of Prejudice.” The event will be held at SECU Arena on Wednesday, Sept. 28 from 6-9 p.m.

“One of the primary goals of the Diversity Speaker Series is to challenge our campus community to think critically about our impact on-and-off campus,” said Santiago Solis, assistant vice president for student affairs for diversity. “We are excited about Jane Elliott because she will help us examine internalized biases and stereotypes in order to gain a better understanding of those who may have different identities and backgrounds.”

Elliott, an anti-racist educator and LGBT activist, will lead a campus-wide discussion around the anatomy of prejudice. The discussion will also explore racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia and ethnocentrism, and the responsibilities society shares in challenging systems of oppression.

Elliott was the creator of the “blue eyes/brown eyes” exercise that taught children about discrimination using eye color.

The exercise earned Elliott national recognition, including the ABC-produced documentary on Elliott called “The Eye of the Story.” She has also appeared on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” and on the “Oprah Winfrey Show” five times.

Elliott is considered to be the forerunner of diversity training. She has led training for corporations such as General Electric, Exxon, AT&T and IBM as well as lectured to the FBI, IRS, U.S. Navy, U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Postal Service.

Deb Moriarty, vice president of student affairs at Towson University, hopes that Elliott’s program will continue to push the discussion of diversity and inclusion on TU’s campus.

“College is a unique time in one’s life when there are many opportunities to learn about people, culture, religions, ideologies that are different from us,” said Moriarty. “Jane Elliott will challenge our thinking and will leave us with much food for thought. My hope is that those attending the program will continue to discuss the program long after it is over. “

The event is open to the general public, but attendees are required to stay for the duration of the three-hour program.