In light of the national discussion on race and immigration, Bradley University's Office of Diversity and Inclusion is hosting a series of events for Black History Month, including an experiment meant to shed light on race relations.
It's been over fifty years since Jim Crow laws were banned in the United States. But, as part of Black History Month, Bradley University wanted to raise awareness of America's segregated past.
"This experiment is just for everyone to remember that with everything going on today that we are all different on the outside, but we are all the same on the inside," says Sherry Gunn.
The experiment was based on an exercise by community activist Jane Elliott in the late 1960's, where the teacher divided her third grade class based upon the color of their eyes and gave one group privileges, while the other was treated as inferior. Meant to illustrate the effects of racism, that same premise was put to work on Bradley's campus today.. as students were instructed to enter a designated door to the student center based on their eye color. Then, after they enter, students were debriefed and invited to discuss their thoughts of the demonstration.
"We want to inform people on the background of segregation and Jim Crow Laws. And this was a very famous experiment done on children letting them know how unnecessary segregation was," explains Tyesha Smith.
One student says the experiment made him more appreciative of his freedom.
"It was definitely an eye-opening experience because we have so many freedoms sometimes that we take for granted nowadays," he shares.