The Messy Truth

A VR experience from Van Jones and Elijah Allan-Blitz

We would like to acknowledge, with great appreciation, the work of longtime White Lotus Foundation friend and advisory board member, Elijah Allan-Blitz for his second Emmy nomination and work on behalf of the human family.

Elijah partnered with TV host and activist Van Jones in creating a series of Virtual Reality experiences that are being developed as learning tools for building empathy. As one socially conservative viewer said after experiencing Episode One on racial profiling, "it's one thing to be told about living in someone else's shoes and something completely different seeing through someone else's eyes."

Ganga and I were fortunate to be able to experience firsthand, the initial episode during beta testing starring actor, Winston Duke, from the film Black Panther. The VR experience puts you in the passenger's seat, in the body of a twelve year old African-American teen, as his father is pulled over in a traffic stop. The virtual experience we had was a phenomenal, visceral incarnation that would be unavailable through other means. Although we do not usually advise people to go looking for extra doses of adrenalin, anxiety, and stress, we would highly recommend this opportunity as a vehicle for accessing felt experience.

Episode Two focuses on sexual harassment and stars the marvelous Brie Larson of Marvel fame, and future topics across many needed fields of awareness are in the works. Through this medium, Elijah and Van hope to make these VR experiences available to broad and varied organizations to build brides, open dialogues, and bring compassionate change to humanity.

We are including this YouTube link to a beautiful video that gives you a taste of Elijah and Van's work. Building empathy and understanding in these crucial times is something we can all benefit from. We hope there will be a way for as many individuals as possible to experience it for themselves in the near future. This seems to be a perfect application for the tool of VR.