Social pioneer Jane Elliot to speak at Washburn Thursday

Robert Burkett

A pioneer of social experimentation will speak at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 30, in the Washburn Memorial Union.

Jane Elliot will be speaking about her experiences as a teacher from a small community in Iowa that in 1968, inspired by the events surrounding the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., helped to spur the creation of an exercise in racial relations.

The experiment, called Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes, segregates an audience based solely on the color of their eyes in order to subject them to a small experience of discrimination.

“This will be an opportunity to really examine the flaws, fallacies and feelings that we as an emerging minority-majority society are going through,” said Kim Morse, assistant professor in the history department.

The events will be hosted by Washburn but have been organized in partnership with the Resource Advocacy Change for Equity Committee of the Topeka YWCA The morning session will be held in Mabee Library and will target an audience of government and business professionals. The evening session will be held at 6 p.m. in the Washburn room at the Memorial Union and will be open to the more general public. Tickets are $10 for faculty and staff and free for students with a Washburn ID.