FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court decision that declared all laws against interracial marriage in the United States to be unconstitutional. Nationwide, aptly-named Loving Day celebrations will commemorate the June 12th, 1967 anniversary of this civil rights landmark. This will be the 14th consecutive year of these celebrations, which collectively form the world's largest network of multiracial community events. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Loving decision, Virginia has become the first U.S. state to permanently recognize Loving Day.
The 2017 Academy Awards honored Loving, a Hollywood film about the plaintiffs in the nine-year-long Loving case: real-life couple Richard and Mildred Loving. Ruth Negga earned an Oscar nomination as Actress in a Leading Role for her portrayal of Mildred Loving. The film was called "quietly radical" (The Washington Post), "undeniably great" (People), and both "timely and timeless" (Time).
Get Out, another Hollywood film featuring an interracial couple, surpassed $165 million in domestic earnings, making it the "second-biggest R-rated horror movie ever in North America" (Forbes), surpassed only by The Exorcist. The film's budget was just $4.5 million. It was directed by Jordan Peele, the "the first black writer-director to earn $100 million movie debut" (The Independent). Mr. Peele, who also identifies as biracial, performed at the largest West Coast Loving Day Celebration in 2012 as half of the comedy duo Key and Peele.
Number one tennis champion Serena Williams condemned comments about her unborn child as "racist." According to ESPN, former world No. 1 tennis star Ilie Nastase was overheard at an April 2017 press conference saying: "Let’s see what color it has. Chocolate with milk?" Williams' fiancée, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, is of German and Armenian descent. The International Tennis Federation provisionally suspended Nastase, which will bar him from attending the French Open in Paris.
One-in-six newlyweds (17%) are married to a person of a "different race or ethnicity" according to a May 2017 Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. This is five times more than in 1967, the year of the Loving decision, when only 3% of newlyweds were interracially married. Beyond newlyweds, one-in-ten of all married people are in an interracial or interethnic marriage (about 11 million people).
11% of Americans still do not approve of interracial marriages, according to the latest Gallup Poll (2013). In 1958, the year that Mr. and Mrs. Loving were arrested for their interracial marriage, the disapproval rate was 94%. 17 million adult Americans (6.9%) of Americans are multiracial according to Pew Research (2015), which far exceeds the 2010 U.S. Census estimate of approximately 9 million.
Fifty years after the Loving decision, Richard and Mildred Loving's legacy lives on through Loving Day celebrations. In New York City, the Loving Day Flagship Celebration will lead the 2017 season with two events on Saturday, June 3rd. Diverse families will gather for an outdoor picnic with pizza, cake, and activities for all ages from noon-3:00 PM at Solar 1, located on the East River waterfront at 23rd Street in Manhattan (2420 FDR Drive, Service Road East, New York, NY 10010). Hundreds more of the 21-and-over crowd will gather that evening for a dance party at Cielo night club (18 Little West 12th St, New York, NY 10014) with top NYC DJ Dhundee. This year's celebrations are generously sponsored by Asahi, InterracialDatingCentral.com, Flavorpill, Brooklyn Historical Society, Cielo, Solar One, and community partners MAVIN and Mixed Marrow.
Thousands of diverse supporters will participate in annual Loving Day Celebrations on or around June 12th in cities worldwide. They range from small, intimate celebrations for families and friends, to large public events. In Los Angeles, the Mixed Remixed Festival will honor British actor David Oyelowo, who portrayed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the film Selma, with their Storyteller's Prize. Celebrations are also planned for Amsterdam, Paris, Chicago, Philadelphia, DC, St. Louis, Denver, Birmingham, Grand Rapids, MI; Tuscaloosa, AL; Eugene, OR; San Jose, CA; Griffin, GA; Abilene, TX; El Cerrito, CA; and Mill Valley, CA. Many additional events are expected and will be listed on LovingDay.org
About the Loving Day Project
Annual Loving Day celebrations commemorate the June 12th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia (1967), the Supreme Court decision that declared all laws against interracial marriage in the United States to be unconstitutional. Loving Day is celebrated in cities nationwide and internationally, collectively forming the world's largest network of multiethnic community celebrations. Our mission is to fight racial prejudice through education and to build multiethnic community. Our vision is to create an annual tradition that will make the Loving case a universally recognized civil rights landmark.