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IU Northwest diversity forum “Shattering the Silences” to include presentation of acclaimed documentary “Blue-Eyed”

March 27 event also to feature panel discussion on ways to overcome prejudice, discrimination

The Campus Council on Diversity at Indiana University Northwest will present a challenging and thought-provoking program on Tuesday, March 27 that will make everyone reconsider what they believe or think they know about discrimination and prejudice. “Shattering the Silences” will include a screening of the powerful documentary “Blue-Eyed,” followed by a panel discussion featuring IU Northwest students, faculty members, and members of the community. The program will run from 2 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. on March 27 in the Savannah Center Auditorium, located at 3400 Broadway in Gary, Ind.

“Blue-Eyed” is a documentary video that depicts the controversial racism-awareness training exercise “Blue-Eyed/brown eyed” as it is taught by seminar creator Jane Elliott. The exercise involves the division of a group of participants according to their eye color, with one group being placed “on top” of the class’ social order and the other being designated as “the bottom” of the hierarchy. The results, as viewers of the documentary will see, are unexpectedly emotional and dramatic, even for participants who knew from the outset what the rules and goals of the exercise were.

“Blue-Eyed/brown eyed” has gained national attention since Elliot first introduced it more than 30 years ago, and it has been featured on assorted national talk shows and in other venues. Elliot was an elementary school teacher in 1968 when the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired her to create the exercise in hopes of promoting greater understanding of racism and prejudice.

A panel discussion will follow the presentation of “Blue-Eyed.” Participants will include: IU Northwest student Nancy Escobedo; Assistant Prof. Manoj Pardasani, Ph.D., of the Division of Social Work; Assistant Prof. Taylor Lake, Ph.D., of the Department of Communication; Terry Harman, Ph.D., director of Awakenings Community Services, Inc.; and J. Allen Johnson, director of the Race Relations Council of Northwest Indiana.

IU Northwest is pleased to invite the Northwest Indiana community to participate in the important and eye-opening presentation “Shattering the Silences,” sponsored by the Campus Council on Diversity. There is no admission charge for this program. For more information, contact Wanda Clark at (219) 980-6989, or e-mail her at



Media Contact:

Christopher Sheid
Specialist, OMC

Michelle Searer
Director, OMC
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