We Are the 15 Percent

How the Murphy-Wests Celebrate Families Like Theirs

Michael and Alyson want the world to know that their family is beautiful – along with thousands of other families like theirs all around the country. Their incredible collection of photographs has grown into the hundreds, and they’re getting more photos of families by the day. With so many beautiful images of happy families in one place, it’s hard not to smile when you scroll through their site. We’re proud that we inspired them – and now they’ve inspired us right back.

We asked Michael and Alyson to share their story.

It’s not every day a commercial inspires you to take action, but that’s what sparked our idea to create We Are the 15 Percent. We recognized ourselves in the Cheerios family from “Just Checking,” and wondered how many other families across the country might feel the same. In building the site, we hoped to reflect the changing face of the new American family, and could not have predicted the overwhelmingly positive response.

Eight months and nearly a thousand portraits later, with photographs from every corner of the country, and nearly every imaginable setting, we continue to be inspired by each and every picture and story we receive. While highlighting the increasing diversity of America, we’re hoping the community of “15%’ers” steadily grows until children (like our own) can’t understand why a site like ours existed in the first place.

When Cheerios asked to bring a film crew along on our family vacation – a visit to grandma & grandpa’s house in Maine, we thought sharing our story might help us connect with more 15% families for the project. While grandma & grandpa may have been surprised by the whole production, we hope this glimpse offers a view that instead of highlighting our differences, reflects a “new normal,” built on love & togetherness.

To join the 15%, send your family’s photograph, today!

Michael David Murphy & Alyson West

(creators of We Are the 15 Percent, “a crowd-sourced collection of portraits of American interracial families and marriages, inspired by a Cheerios ad.”)