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Drake Law program to discuss 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia

September 28, 2017

Drake University Law School is hosting a program to commemorate and discuss the 50th anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia.

Titled “50 Years from Loving to Today: The Role of Lawyers in Tackling Racial Injustice,” the event is scheduled for Oct. 3, 4:30 p.m., at Cartwright Hall, Room 213.

After marrying in Washington, D.C., in 1958, interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving were arrested in Virginia, where anti-miscegenation laws banned marriage between blacks and whites. Mildred wrote to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, who referred her to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

In 1967, the ACLU represented the couple before the U.S. Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia. The court unanimously ruled that state bans on interracial marriage were unconstitutional. The case was considered a milestone; however, the fight for civil rights continues today.

The program “50 Years from Loving to Today” will begin at 4:30 p.m. with a discussion about the historical context and legal issues in Loving v. Virginia, as well as current civil rights litigation and a legislative initiative in Iowa. At 5 p.m., the 2011 documentary film “The Loving Story” will be shown, followed by small group discussions.

Professor Ellen Yee will moderate the program. Speakers include Professor Andrea Charlow, Professor Emeritus Russell Lovell, and Professor Emeritus David Walker.

The event is free and open to the public. Food will be served.

For questions, contact Professor Ellen Yee at 515-271-1914 or ellen.yee@drake.edu.