A year ago today, we had an idea to create a website that reflected the changing face of the American family. Inspired by the backlash against the 1st Cheerios ad, we thought we’d post our own family photo, invite a few friends to join-in, and see what happened.

What’s transpired in the last 12 months has been humbling and extraordinary. There’s a lot that can be said about what We Are the 15 Percent means to us, but it distills to this: it’s a true joy to be able to spread a bit of happiness into the world nearly every day. It’s a small thing, but it feels vital & important, and over time, what started small has accrued into something much larger than we could have ever imagined.

And it’s because of you. Not the treacly, cliche, “it’s all because of you”, you. YOU. You who just sent-in an updated photo because your family had a new addition last week. You who sent your photo in last July and are patiently waiting to see it on the site. You, who (like Michael’s mom) looks at the site every day to see families that remind her of her son & daughter-in-law’s.

We feel like the project is still at the beginning. Your support, interest, and enthusiasm has fueled us to consider what “year two” might look like. We have plans, and we can’t wait to share them with you.

Tonight, after getting home from work – we took a selfie (it’s 2014 still, right?) and thought we’d update our own picture from last June.

Thank you for your trust, your kindness, and for sharing a part of yourselves with us (and by extension, the world).

Here’s to everything that’s next!

Michael & Alyson, Atlanta, GA 2014.06.04


We had a great Saturday at the Brooklyn Historical Society for their “Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations” program. Here’s a quick pic, hope to post a few thoughts later this week.

Big thanks to everyone who attended, all the fellow panelists, & BHS for organizing such an incredible day.

(Photo of We Are the 15% onstage with fellow panelist Jay Smooth, via Amy Rush)


If you’re in the NYC area, we hope you’re planning on attending “What Are You?” at the Brooklyn Historical Society on November 9th at 2pm. We’re excited to be participating, are looking forward to the conversation, and can’t wait to see family & friends, old & new.

If you’re in town, you might also enjoy checking out Alex Barnett (check out his family’s portrait on the site) who has two gigs at Gotham Comedy Club; one on Friday night with the “Dads of Comedy”, and Saturday night’s “Glass Half Full Comedy Show”.

Should be fun!


When we started We Are the 15 Percent, we wanted to be sure we could manage the flow of submissions, as well as have a handle on the conversation – which had really spun-out-of-control on the YouTube page of the Cheerios ad.

Personally, we’re fans of the wide-open-Web, which doesn’t require passwords, logins and myriad privacy settings. So we built a site that could be viewed by anyone, anywhere, and we stayed away from Facebook.

After finding out last week there was an unofficial Facebook page using our “We Are the 15%” name, we decided to finally venture over there and set-up an official page.

You’ll find it here: https://www.facebook.com/WeAreThe15

Like it, and follow along!

Our plan is to co-publish all of the new pictures from the site to Facebook, in addition to re-publishing a selection of photos from the archive.

We may “loosen” who can post to the page over time. Managing one site’s workflow is a task we take seriously – managing two separate sites & workflows may not be tenable. So please be patient with us while we figure it out, “like” the page if you want to follow along, and share it with your friends.

And seriously, thank you for your support!

(And a tip o’ the hat to Sara Taylor.)


We Are the 15% at Brooklyn Historical Society, November 9th


We’ve been up-and-running for one month today, and what a month it’s been! We wanted to take a minute to highlight what’s happened, and briefly look at what’s to come.

Most of you are aware that We Are the 15 Percent received some fantastic press in the past few weeks, which we’ve now archived here, on site. We’re grateful for the attention, and are pleased that so many media outlets chose to highlight your pictures, which are the real story. If you haven’t had a chance to see the MSNBC video, it’s worth a quick look.

This week, you may have noticed a couple of new currents in the stream of photographs uploaded to the site; on Wednesday, all the pictures included family pets, and on the 4th of July, there was a decidedly USA theme.

We’re very interested in the aspects of this project that allow it to be a living, breathing archive that’s an accurate representation of the nation’s interracial families & marriages. Given the site’s subject matter, it might make sense to classify and publish the photographs according to race, but it’s our belief that would be the worst way to present the photographs you’ve so generously shared.

Instead, we’re exploring avenues (like we did this week) that illuminate the “everyday” nature of the photographs, while investigating how pictures gain strength in aggregation, rather than through scientifically classifying their differences. All of which means, there may be a day in the future in which each portrait posted is taken in front of a fireplace, or underwater.


We think it’ll create a dynamic viewing experience that helps reinforce the site’s main thrust; that each and every one of these photographs depicts the New American Family, and skin-tones & cultural backgrounds aside, we look just like every other family out there.

Welcome to the New Normal!


VIDEO: Melissa Harris-Perry – MSNBC – “Foot Soldiers of the Week”


Good News!

Barring any unforseen scheduling issues, We Are the 15 Percent will appear on Melissa Harris Perry’s show on Saturday morning, June 29th, toward the end of the 10am-Noon show, in a segment called “Foot Soldier of the Week”.


We’re overwhelmed by the support and interest in the project, and we want to make it as easy as possible for all of you to follow along. We didn’t build the site as a lark; we’re very interested in its persistance, over time. The power of the photographs you’ve submitted (and that we’ve been lucky to post) is a constant, positive antidote to reactions that some of you have seen in the darker corners of life (and the internet).

In short, we’re fully dedicated to this effort.

We can’t guarantee that we’ll publish your photo, but we can guarantee that we’ll let you know when we plan to publish your picture. We appreciate your patience, and in the meantime, want to make sure you can easily follow along.

Thank you for your support and interest in the project. Now, back to the pictures!

Michael & Alyson

(Updated: 20200923)


BREAKING: Interracial Families Actually Exist