A Loving Community
In Loving v. Virginia, the United States Supreme Court vindicated one couple’s battle against institutional racism when it struck down Virginia’s law banning interracial marriage. Now, forty-five years later, the number of interracial couples in the United States has reached an all-time high, yet institutional racism and issues affecting mixed race relations persist. Below (in no particular order) is a select group of reputable organizations promoting awareness and acceptance of mixed race individuals and families, and of the ideals that Loving v. Virginia represents, beginning, of course, with Loving Day:
Loving Day is an educational campaign aimed at raising multicultural and racial awareness and appreciation. Its website provides a historical overview of key legal documents and decisions, and also promotes a global network of annual celebrations honoring the anniversary of the Loving decision. Each year, Loving Day hosts the Loving Day Flagship Celebration in New York, New York, which is currently the largest of these commemorative celebrations.
Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference
Critical Mixed Race Studies (“CMRS”) is an emerging study and critique of “global systemic injustices rooted in systems of racialization.” The second of these biennial conferences will be at DePaul University in Chicago, November 1-4, 2012 and will consist of scholarly panels, roundtables and papers dissecting mixed race issues in a variety of disciplines, from history and the arts, to economics and health care. Laura Kina, artist and associate professor of art, media and design at DePaul University, discusses the impact of the 2010 CMRS Conference in her article, “Watershed Moment for Critical Mixed Race Studies.” The general theme for 2012, “What is Critical Mixed Race Studies?,” will attract informed research and inspire significant discussion to promote grassroots change until the next conference in another two years.
MAVIN Foundation is an all-volunteer driven non-profit organization that supports mixed race community development and multiracial social justice through projects like the Mixed Heritage Center, a “national clearing house of information related to mixed heritage issues,” and the Multiracial Child Resource Book, a 288-page volume edited by Maria P. P. Root, Ph.D. and MAVIN Founder, Matt Kelley, which offers “a layered portrait of the mixed race experience from birth to adulthood,” with chapters written by relevant experts and accompanied by first-person testimonials. MAVIN is a partner to the Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference and is one of the country’s leading organizations examining mixed roots issues.
Mixed Roots Literary & Film Festival
Sponsored by the New York Foundation for Arts, the Mixed Roots Literary & Film Festival brings together artists, individuals and families to enjoy film screenings, readings, workshops, comedy and music, all of which celebrate the “Mixed experience.”
Swirl, Inc. is a national multiethnic organization that promotes cross-racial and cross-cultural discourse through its online and physical presence. With five national chapters, members can take advantage of Swirl’s national book club, writer’s circle, dine-out discussions about race and identity, and engaging Facebook, Twitter and blog posts.
Multicultural Familia is a compendium of stories, advice and news told through articles and podcasts that discuss multiethnic, multiracial and interfaith experiences in parenting and relationships.
Mixed Marrow is dedicated to finding bone marrow and blood cell donors for patients of multiethnic descent. With the over 30,000 patients in the US diagnosed with life threatening blood diseases each year, only about 30% finding matches within their families. Organizations like Mixed Marrow provide more opportunities for individuals to register as donors so that the remaining majority of patients can find matches as well.
Special thanks to adoption attorney Michelle Hughes for introducing me into this new world of information, people, and purposes. Ms. Hughes is co-founder of Bridge Communications. Inc., which specializes in diversity training with an emphasis on transracial, international and general adoption education, as well as biracial identity. She also provides relevant links and updates on her Facebook page, Michelle M. Hughes Atty.
There are many more blogs, websites and podcasts dedicated to these issues. Stay tuned for more discussion as my research progresses.