Tag Archives: washington dc

Meeting Jane ElliotT: A Lesson In Endurance as an Advocate for Justice


Jane Elliott at Anne Beers Elementary School in Ward 7 of Washington DC this past Tuesday

Jane Elliott is a former third-grade schoolteacher, anti-racism activist, and educator. She is known for her “Blue eyes–Brown eyes” activity that I first learned about on the Oprah Winfrey show about 30 years ago when I was a teenager. She first conducted her famous exercise for her class on April 5, 1968, the day after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. She garnered widespread attention when her local newspaper published essays that the children had written about the experience. Shortly after, she began a long-time career as an outspoken public speaker against racism and discrimination. Jane Elliott came to DC’s Anne Beers Elementary school this week and my daughter and I were thrilled to be able to watch Eye of the Storm together and meet Jane Elliott afterward. During Ms. Elliott’s talk, she told us many things about the reasons she believes it is imperative that parents advocate against the indoctrination of their children to be obsessed about skin color and separation instead of commonality and unity. She weaved many lessons into her talk that described what her life was like during and after she first implemented the Blue eye-brown eye activity.

Elliott’s classroom exercise was filmed the third time she held it with her 1970 third-graders to become The Eye of the Storm. This in turn inspired a retrospective that reunited the 1970 class members with their teacher fifteen years later in A Class Divided. After leaving her school, Elliott became a diversity educator full-time. She still holds the exercise and gives lectures about its effects all over the U.S. and in several locations overseas. I introduced my daughter to her work a couple of years ago and she has been a fan ever since. My daughter insisted that we stay after the talk to take photos and I am glad that we did. I got to personally tell her how much I love her and appreciate her work and she told me she loved me, too. We exchanged hugs and smiles and ended a wonderful experience.

My daughter and the great Jane Elliott after her presentation at Anne Beers Elementary School
The author and Ms. Jane Elliott

Khadijah Z. Ali-Coleman is a homeschooling mother, a multi-media strategist and professional creative who has built an expansive interdisciplinary career as a professional in higher education, media, student development and the arts.  You can join her mailing list and register for her courses for homeschooling families at StudentMediaOnline.com

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Join the Facebook group for Dual-Enrolled Homeschooled High School Students here

Kwanzaa in August (KIA) Festival celebrates African-American culture in the Washington DC area


kwanza in august festival logo

Kwanzaa in August (KIA) Festival celebrates African-American culture in the Washington DC area

On Friday, August 3, 2018 to Sunday, August 5, 2018, Liberated Muse Arts Group hosts Kwanzaa in August Festival: unboxed/unbroken at Anacostia Arts Center in Washington, DC. The festival commemorates Liberated Muse’s 10th anniversary and arts and social justice in the community.

Washington, DC, July 18, 2018 — The summer festival season in the Washington DC area welcomes a new festival presented by an organization with long-time experience bringing cultural arts programming to the nation’s capital. On Friday, August 3, 2018 to Sunday, August 5, 2018, Liberated Muse Arts Group hosts Kwanzaa in August Festival: unboxed/unbroken at Anacostia Arts Center in Washington, DC. The festival commemorates Liberated Muse’s 10th anniversary and arts and social justice in the community. The Kwanzaa in August festival is an arts and empowerment festival focusing on the seven principles of Kwanzaa—unity, self-determination, cooperative economics, collective work & responsibility, purpose, creativity and faith. Interactive presentations, films, a visual arts exhibit and a Liberated Muse CD listening party are highlights of this three-day festival.

Liberated Muse Arts Group was founded in 2008 by Khadijah Z. Ali-Coleman as an online community that existed from 2008-2012 and allowed members to share videos, artwork and collaborate virtually. Ali-Coleman partnered with another entrepreneur to create the Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest through a business partnership called Liberated Muse Productions. The festival took place in Marvin Gaye Park in the northeast part of Washington DC. The festival ran for three summers and was free and open to the public. It was covered by local and national media, including MTV, National Geographic, FOX News, NBC, Washington City Paper and more. The United States Census Bureau recognized Liberated Muse for their work in helping the US Census Bureau garner qualitative data from participants of the festival.

Since then, Liberated Muse has produced theater productions, book anthologies, performance showcases, and more throughout the DC area and Baltimore with a significant focus on art that highlights the experiences of people of the African diaspora and the work of women who have used their platform for social justice.

Kwanzaa in August festival will feature authors Tracy Chiles McGhee, Alan King, Olu Butterfly and more, including films by filmmakers Pamela Woolford and Kia Reed. In addition, Liberated Muse Arts Group’s performance troupe will debut their new CD during a release performance.

Visit KwanzaainAugust.org for the full schedule of events