FYOOZ Lights it Up on Loving Day!
Over 1,000 people attended and drank Asahi beer, danced, and got their faces and appendages painted, courtesy of InterracialDatingCentral.com.
FYOOZ interviews Loving Day Founder, Ken Tenabe.
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Interview with Ken Tanabe by Elizabeth Daniels
Last Saturday marked the 11th anniversary of Loving Day, which began as a graduate thesis project and now has become a global commemoration of loving freely (..and legally!!!) in the United States for almost 50 years! What began in 1967 literally changed the face of America and the multicultural community has come out in full force to recognize this historic event as well as create a tradition that will educate for generations to come. Beyond Black & White was on hand for the 11th Annual Flagship Celebration to speak with Loving Day founder, Ken Tanabe, about the heart behind Loving Day and how multicultural education is changing the American landscape.
FYOOZ: What is THE "Loving Day" story? How did this all begin? Last time we spoke you told me a little about your parents' story.
KT: It partly began with my parents. Dad is from Japan and Mom from Belgium. I identify as multicultural, multiethnic, multiracial, and international. I was just googling when I found this civil rights landmark and I couldn't believe it. Why doesnâ€™t everyone know about this? " I wanted it to be as recognizable as Rosa Parks or Brown v. Education."
FYOOZ: Music is such a huge part of this celebration. What is your favorite love song and why?
KT: <laughing> "That's too hard."
FYOOZ: Ok, if you could have any band or artist play for "Loving Day" who would you choose?
KT: "I'm a fan of Little Dragon. She's a hot button." The lead singer is Swedish and mixed Asian. They're a pretty good band.
FYOOZ: You've seen the 2nd Cheerios commercial and now there is a Swiffer commercial along with more ads depicting multicultural families. Do you feel that brands and agencies are finally understanding that this is a valuable demographic?
KT: Absolutely. There is also the Chevy Traverse Ad that aired during the Sochi Olympics. These are all great examples and are so meaningful. There were so many hateful comments that Cheerios had to disable the comments section, but the multicultural community responded. And Cheerios spent 4 million dollars on air time for the second commercial during the Super Bowl. Its the beginning and such a great start. So, we should not minimize what brands are going.
FYOOZ: I've seen over the years, the LGBT community has rolled in deep for "Loving Day"? Do you feel that this day serves as an inspiration for the LGBT civil rights movement?
KT: I hope so. I want Loving Day to be used as a resource for every community. It is important to understand this was for everyone, not just the multicultural community. We welcome all communities to celebrate.
FYOOZ: What is the legacy that you would like "Loving Day" as a celebration to leave?
KT: The vision is for a new tradition to between friends and family passed down through generation as a shared experience for the multiethnic community. I want us to one day be the grandparents in the back and have the young people in the front doing their thing.
FYOOZ would like to thank Ken Tanabe for taking the time to chat with us. If you would like to learn more about "Loving Day", please visit LovingDay.org.
Here is the Chevy Traverse commercial that Ken suggested. "The New Us"...
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