A reknowned anti racism activist and educator will speak at Kansas Wesleyan University this week as a part of the school’s Martin Luther King Jr. Week.
According to KWU, Jane Elliott, who dared the nation to think about prejudice and bigotry with her famed Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes exercise, will speak on Thursday. Elliott, who will appear as part of the Media Reflections: Power, Perception, and Prejudice event, will discuss her experiment.
Elliott, who performed her experiment in response to the assassination of Dr. King, startled the nation with her controversial research, labeling participants as inferior or superior based on their eye color.
Elliott will speak in Sams Chapel at 7 p.m. As a precursor to the lecture, KWU will screen the documentary, “A Class Divided,” on Wednesday, January 22 at 7 p.m. in Fitzpatrick Auditorium. The documentary, based on her experiment, will be followed by a panel discussion that includes: Nedra Elbl, USD 305 Board President; Dr. Steve Hoekstra, KWU Professor of Psychology; Dr. Martha Robertson, KWU Director and Chair of the Department of Teacher Education, and Cindy Hoss, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Hutchinson Community College.
In addition, the KWU Memorial Library will have various MLK materials on display from January 20-24, including letters, telegrams, and a poster display. All displayed items are courtesy of the Eisenhower Presidential Library, KWU Memorial Library, and the KWU Department of History. A slideshow of images from Dr. King will also be in rotation in the Hauptli Student Activity Center, courtesy of the KWU Department of Behavioral Science and Human Services.
Media Reflections is part of a KWU lecture series entitled, Intersections: A Series of Events exploring Civil Rights at the Crossroads of Academia and the Real World. Aside from MLK Week events, the series will feature other events and speakers throughout the spring semester, including Cheryl Brown Henderson, who will present during Black History Month in February. Henderson, who will speak on February 11 at 7 p.m., is from the Brown family, of the landmark Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education (1954). During Women’s History Month in March, the keynote speaker will be Dr. Rebecca Chopp, KWU Alumna and president of Swarthmore College.
All Media Reflections and Intersections events are free adn open to the public.