On Friday, January 12, Nyack College Rockland celebrates Social Justice Day and will welcome internationally-known educator and lecturer, Jane Elliott, to the campus. At 6:00 p.m. in Pardington Hall, the award-winning documentary, “A Class Divided,” will be screened, followed by a discussion with Ms. Elliot on her more than three decades of studying human prejudice.
Ms. Elliott drew public attention in 1968, when as a school teacher in Riceville, Iowa, she taught her all white third-grade students about the significance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. Riceville was and is today described as a predominantly white, Christian town with a population of 1,000 people. Her famed, blue eyes, brown eyes experiment raised the social consciousness of her students, which provoked the very sentiment she opposed. She and her children were harassed and called names like "nigger lover.”
Ms. Elliott has appeared on The Today Show, 60 Minutes, The Tonight Show, Oprah Winfrey Show, ABC News and the PBS program, Frontline. Universities, colleges and elementary schools, corporations and civic organizations are also among her audiences.
This evening event with Ms. Elliott at Nyack is open to the public and is free to all who show a valid Nyack College ID. Dean Miller has asked that faculty “encourage students to attend this event by incorporating some aspect of this discussion into course work.”
For more information on Elliott's famed classroom exercise, “Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes,” visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJLUQzwCFIo.
For the past several years, Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students, Earl Miller has spearheaded a daylong agenda of activities in connection with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Says Dean Miller, Social Justice Day is “a time when we recognize the relevance of Nyack’s rich diversity in ethnicities, cultures, economic backgrounds and experiences as an evangelical Christian community.” Other community-building activities on January 12 include a morning chapel service in Bowman Gym, followed by a luncheon honoring local community leadership.
Contact the Dean of Students Office at 845.358.1710, ext. 750 for additional information.