In the mid-90s, an ad hoc group of faculty, staff, and students, in collaboration with Dr. Clarence G. Williams, Special Assistant to the President, produced a videotape entitled It’s Intuitively Obvious. The videotape recorded African American students discussing their experiences with race at MIT. Subsequent to the production of that video, an invitation was extended to the larger MIT community to make similar tapes, and Dr. Williams’ office went on to produce four more videotapes in which students of different racial backgrounds discussed issues of race on the MIT campus.
In the spring of 1996, the then- Committee on Campus Race Relations took responsibility for preparing, funding, and producing a fifth videotape in the It’s Intuitively Obvious series. This fifth tape brought together, prior to their graduations, many of the students who had participated in the first four tapes. These five It’s Intuitively Obvious videotapes, in several different versions, have been used successfully to initiate facilitated discussions of racial issues for various student, staff, and faculty groups on campus. We encourage campus groups and committees to view these tapes to gain an understanding of racial issues facing students and as an introduction to diversity training.