From March 2 through March 6, the Brown Center for Students of Color’s Multiracial Heritage Series, the Brown Organization of Multiracial and Biracial Students and the Mixed-Asian/Pacific Islander Students’ Heritage group will commemorate the Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court case with their annually-hosted Loving Week.
The landmark case legalized interracial marriage in 1967. Each year, the University’s multiracial community dedicates Loving Week to the celebration of not only the court decision, but also multiracial identity.
“For me specifically, (and) for multiracial people who are oftentimes products of interracial marriages, the significance (of the case) is that we can exist,” said MRHS Programmer Anna Aguto ’22. “That’s why we frame (Loving Week) around this case: it’s legitimizing our existence and celebrating that.”
Loving Week will begin with a Comic Strip Workshop, held by the BCSC as part of the MRHS and led by Jewels Smith, the author of “(H)afrocentric,” on March 3. “(H)afrocentric” is a “comic book that follows undergraduates of color navigating a predominantly white institution,” said leader of BOMBS Pazia Bermudez-Silverman ’20.
On March 4, MRHS, BOMBS and MASH will host a Karaoke Night in The Underground Coffee Co., which leader of MASH Anna Kerber ’22 hopes will be “lighthearted and fun.”
Following on March 5, MASH will host a Bone Marrow Registration Drive with Be The Match in the Stephen Roberts ’62 Campus Center from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. “It’s often difficult for mixed-race people to find (bone marrow) matches,” Aguto said. “So there’s a registry to swab your cheek and send it in, so (that) it’s easier for mixed-race people to find matches if that needs to happen.”
To wrap up the week on March 6, BOMBS, MASH and MRHS will collectively put on the Mixed Heritage Showcase. According to the Loving Week Facebook page , the Mixed Heritage Showcase “will involve singing, dancing and spoken word.” Bermudez-Silverman said that the showcase is a celebration of art with performances by people from all racial backgrounds.
Planning for Loving Week begins in the fall, according to Aguto, Bermudez-Silverman and Kerber. “We usually take the last year’s events that we did, and see what we want to repeat,” Bermudez-Silverman said. BOMBS, MASH and MRHS leaders each choose which events their group wants to focus on.
Initially, planning was led by BOMBS and MASH. “MRHS has just (recently) been pulled into it,” Aguto said. “We provide support and organize different events. We have meetings and try to find ways to support each other.”
According to Bermudez-Silverman, Loving Week began as a day-long spring celebration of the Loving case, separate from the national holiday Loving Day on June 12. The Loving Week celebration did not become week-long until 2015, Bermudez-Silverman said.
“Every event is open to everyone. Anyone is welcome to come,” Bermudez-Silverman added. “Anyone who identifies with this experience, or wants to be involved — we want them at each and any of these events.”
“Everyone can be aware … and celebrate the legalization of interracial marriage, as well as just the multiracial experience,” Kerber said.
“It’s an exciting time, and we hope people show up,” Aguto agreed.