01 November, 2015

Brown Eyes, Blue Eyes: On Diversity

So I recently attended (I was the only "faculty," and certainly the only "chair") one of our Diversity & Inclusion workshops, in a serious called Courageous Conversations. This specific one was entitled: Brown Eyes, Blue Eyes: Linking Perception to Performance, and the facilitators (Dean Stephanie Ray & Cheryl Cofield) did an excellent job. So did the participants, who were ready to share their experiences with each other. One of the staff participants shook my hand and thanked me for attending, and I was speechless.

The workshop is meant to explore how bias and perception impact people’s thoughts and behaviors - which leads to differences in treatment - resulting in differences in performance and productivity.  We saw un updated version of the classic Jane Elliot video, Brown-Eyes, Blue Eyes, and then participants were gently encouraged to contemplate whether they may be creating exclusive work environments. I wish more of us would attend these workshops. I certainly will.