A Collar In My Pocket


This is a one-day seminar in which participants will be exposed to an exercise in discrimination based on eye color. Blue-eyed participants will be identified as the inferior group and all the negative stereotypes ordinarily applied to people of color and women by white people and men will be applied to them. Those people having green or hazel eyes will be designated inferior or superior as the instructor sees fit. 

The first phase of the exercise will include: separating the group according to eye color, collaring the Blues and detaining them in a holding room, conditioning the Browns as to what the exercise is all about and what is expected of them, bringing the Blues into the meeting room and exposing them to the discriminatory treatment, teaching them the listening skills in an atmosphere in which they will be expected to fail, introducing them to a brief American History lesson as biased as minorities have heard history throughout their educational experience in this country, giving them a culturally-biased test which Blues will not be expected to pass and won't, and continually accusing the Blues of incompetence resulting from their eye color. 

During the second phase of the exercise, each participant will be asked to write a brief description of what she has done, felt, seen, or heard during the discriminatory period. After a short break-during which Blues will be allowed to leave the room unescorted and have coffee for the first time during the day, all participants will form a circle and a thorough discussion of the morning activity and its implications for all concerned will be led by the instructor. All comments will be respected, but all issues will be met and dealt with. Racist remarks and attitudes will be identified and clarified. 

After a lunch break the participants will return to the circle for the third phase of the seminar which will include a second debriefing during which the instructor will introduce and show a relevant film and conduct a question/answer period about the film and its application for all of us. Participants will then be given a bibliography, a list of racist statements and their clarifications, and a list of activities that individuals can do to eliminate racism, sexism and ageism in themselves and their environments. 

The final stage of the seminar will consist of participants completing an evaluation of the seminar and receiving a collar for their pocket. This is a clear acrylic key ring in the shape of an eye, the eyeball of which is a tiny green collar identical to the one that the Blues were forced to wear during the exercise. 

Those interested in contacting Ms. Elliott in regard to the costs and availability of this workshop, please visit the Contact page.