Loving Day 2022: UWL remembers historic court ruling

Photo retrieved from Anna Fischer.

Photo retrieved from Anna Fischer.

Anna Fischer, Social Justice Reporter

On Wednesday, April 13, the Intercultural Organization Promoting Awareness (IOPA) threw a small celebration called ‘Loving Day.” This was held in honor of the historical 1967 Supreme Court case ruling, Loving v. Virginia, which struck down the law prohibiting interracial marriage in America. 

Mya Salinas, the secretary for IOPA, said Loving Day was, “a celebration and reflection of Richard Perry Loving and Mildred Jeter’s marriage, and how the culture around people of mixed identities and backgrounds has progressed today.” 

The three-year member said the wedding-themed celebration was the first in-person IOPA event she’s been a part of. “Seeing it in-person, on a different scale, made me very proud. We were finally able to do something in person, we had a great turnout, and the speakers were amazing.” 

The event featured a small buffet, an interactive photo booth, and three panelists, all of whom are University of Wisconsin-La Crosse graduates, and former IOPA members.  

Laura Abellera, Celinda Davis, and Amanda Florence Goodenough spoke about their personal experiences as multiracial women, being in interracial relationships, and the media’s representation of transracial families.  

 “I feel like I’m heard and understood better by other multiracial people because they experience intersectionality, colorism, and everything in between every day,” Davis said. 

IOPA exists to provide a social environment in which students can relate and talk about multi-ethnic identities and/or interracial relationships. “IOPA is a unique organization; there are not many campuses who have clubs that celebrate intersectionality the way we do,” said Salinas. 

Regarding the representation of these intersectional communities in the media, Goodenough said, “I remember being really happy about mixed identity in the media, but the bar is so low.”  

“Realizing how young the multiracial identity mainstreamness is was a very eye-opening experience for me,” Davis said in a similar statement. 

Abellera, who spoke about the depiction of transracial families, said the following: 

“Transracial adoption amongst black and brown children with white parents is not accurately represented. The idea of the ‘white savior’ tokenizing children is a real issue in society.”  

Peter Adashek, a student who attended the event, said the following about his experience: 

“It was interesting to hear about the panelists’ experiences, especially because they are from the Milwaukee area like me. People who are multiracial don’t get enough respect and recognition on campus, and I also think that people in interracial relationships don’t get the respect they deserve and are underrepresented on campus. If you don’t have representation, you don’t feel like you belong.”  

Adashek said that he feels UWL is making strides in the right direction to make the campus more inclusive, and that ‘Loving Day’ is a great example. Davis gave a similar statement saying, “Representation is still really messy, but there’s a lot of really great moments.” 

IOPA Meetings are held every Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. in Centennial 2305. 

The Racquet Press would like to thank IOPA, The Office of Multicultural Student Services, and Chartwells. 

Photo retrieved from Anna Fischer.
Photo retrieved from Anna Fischer.