“Loving Day” – Celebrating Interracial Marriage

Sam Stroozas , Staff Reporter

Most students who choose UWL as their higher education tend to be lucky because of all of the offices and resources the campus provides. For any race, sexual identity and orientation one can find a club that possesses their same beliefs and that does good in the field of their interest. Recently, “IOPA”, Intercultural Organization Promoting Awareness, hosted “Loving Day” here on campus on Wednesday, October 11. Loving Day internationally is celebrated June 12, but because of UWL’s academic calendar, our celebration was shifted to now.

Loving Day is a day full of celebration of interracial and ethnic people and the problems that are not as far gone as we often believe when it comes to interracial couples and the perception of their place in society. It is also the 50 anniversary of Loving Day which came about due to Loving VS Virginia to legalize interracial marriage in 1967. With things still not too far gone, Sonya Garcia, Vice President of IOPA added that Alabama was the last state to allow interracial marriage in the year 2000.

Interracial marriage usually is a subject we assign with the civil rights era, Garcia adds, “It is not as far gone as we may think, and that is why we have Loving Day, to showcase to campus the awareness and impact the issue still holds.”

With pictures of mixed students and staff at UWL and facts about the interracial issue this country still possess, it was not a surprise when Garcia stated, “We have to show that all mixed people are different. You cannot just assume someone’s race, that is not up for you to decide.”

Garcia, being impacted personally by this issue spoke about her thoughts and the generalizations society often assigns to her, “By assuming my race I am able to be seen as white because it makes others feel more comfortable to label me into what box they want me in. I do not often get the chance to identify how I want to because people see me how they want to, not for who I really am.”

Mirm Hurula, in charge of public relations and secretary work for IOPA, explained the problems with the education system, “We never learn about Loving VS Virginia. Everyone thinks that interracial marriages are not even a part of the thought process anymore but they have impacted me and everyone represented at this event.”

Hurula went on to add, “I wouldn’t be here if it was not for an interracial marriage, not a lot of us would.”

UWL tends to give students a fair voice with organizations on campus. Garcia reminds students, “We have to appreciate the platform that UWL gives us to talk about these issues. We are the only UW school with a mixed multicultural organization that can do as powerful of events as this one. We are celebrating and appreciating as well as educating and advocating.”

Events like these on campus remind students not to take their privilege for granted. As Garcia concluded, “Internalization and generalization are what allow people to assume race.”

Instead of categorizing people on how you want to see them, take the time to see how they want to be represented in society first.

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