From TFOI Jackie Font-Guzmán:

The Werner Institute and the 2040 Initiative at the Creighton University School of Law invite you to a symposium exploring how the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision of Loving v. Virginia has influenced society institutionally, demographically and relationally. The symposium, entitled 50 Years of Loving: Seeking Justice Through Love and Relationships, will take place on March 23-24, 2017 in Omaha, Nebraska.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 1967 decision in Loving v. Virginia ended legal prohibitions against interracial marriage in the U.S.  By eliminating longstanding legal sanctions against “miscegenation,” Loving disrupted the pre-existing social system.  The ruling rejected racial separation and hierarchy and endorsed relationships across previously uncrossable racial lines.

The Symposium moves from diversity awareness to actions that create inclusion.  Recognizing and building on the effects that Loving v. Virginia has had on our society, participants will develop skills to create an inclusive environment through their interactions with others.

Early registration ends February 15.  Visit the website to register and to find more information, including the symposium program.

8.5 hours of CLE credit in Nebraska and Iowa will be available for attending the Symposium.  SPHR credits pending. Please contact Amanda Guidero for more information.

Jacqueline N. Font-Guzmán, MHA, JD, PhD
Professor of Law and Director
The Werner Institute
Creighton University School of Law

Palma Joy Strand
Professor of LawThe Werner Institute
Creighton University School of Law
Director, Creighton’s 2040 Initiative

I want to add a few words of my own about the subject of this timely symposium.

You may have seen the movie Loving, which is a vivid dramatization of the landmark Supreme Court case.  When I was in law school many years ago, I remember reading a brief description of the holding in the case, which doesn’t do justice to the story.  Recent movies like Loving, Hidden Figures, Fences, Moonlight, The Birth of a Nation, and Twelve Years a Slave provide glimpses of what the world looked like through the eyes of many blacks and whites in our history.

For many people, America was not so great.  Even though Richard Loving was a white construction worker, his advantages of being white were contingent on complying with unjust legal and social norms.  It was shocking to see that – in my lifetime – Richard and Mildred Loving were jailed and banished from their home and families merely for marrying people of different races.

Similarly, in Hidden Figures, it was horrifying to see the humiliating treatment of blacks, forced to use segregated bathrooms in federal government facilities in the 1960s.  Even though American whites have enjoyed advantages because of being in the majority, America’s history of injustices has imposed heavy moral and emotional costs on people like the white county judge and sheriff in Loving and the white NASA scientists in Hidden Figures as well as white guys like me.

We now live in an increasingly diverse global society and are in another time of great social conflict.  In the words of the Hal David – Burt Bacharach song, what the world needs now is love, sweet love. The lyric continues, “It’s the only thing that’s there’s just too little of.”  I would quibble with “only” as I think we also need more empathy, concern for the well-being of others, and constructive engagement in conflict and problem-solving, among other things.

Creighton’s Loving symposium should be an important event moving us in that direction.

John Lande is the Isidor Loeb Professor Emeritus and former director of the LLM Program in Dispute Resolution, at the University of Missouri, School of Law. He received his J.D. from Hastings College of Law and Ph.D in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also an avid writer and contributor to Indisputably.org