MLK Celebration speaker announced

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Jane Elliott

Jane Elliott, an anti-racism activist and creator of the controversial “Blue Eyes-Brown Eyes” exercise, will be the keynote speaker for the 2017 Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration on Jan. 13 at noon in Paine College’s Gilbert-Lambruth Memorial Chapel. This annual event is hosted by Augusta University, Paine College and Augusta Technical College.

The day after Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, Elliott taught her all-white, third-grade class about the impact of discrimination by having them participate in her “Blue Eyes-Brown Eyes” exercise in which participants are labeled as inferior or superior based on the color of their eyes.

Although this groundbreaking experiment received both negative and positive criticism, it has been repeated throughout the country with many participants saying it is an emotional life-changing experience. The exercise is also considered to be the pinnacle of all diversity programming in the country today, and its social impact has been featured on several television shows including “Oprah” and in the William Peters’ book “A Class Divided.”

Elliott is now a full-time diversity educator and speaker, and she is the recipient of the National Mental Health Association Award for Excellence in Education.

For more information about this event, contact  Helene Carter, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Paine College, at 706-821-8323 or


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Written by
Danielle Harris

Danielle Harris is Senior Media Relations Coordinator at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-7511 or

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Written by Danielle Harris

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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