Jen is white and grew up in Philadelphia, while Ermias is black and Eritrean. They met in Eritrea in 1995 when Jen was there as a Peace Corps volunteer. They had a long distance relationship for a while and just when Ermias was on the verge of leaving to come to the US, war broke out between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
They eventually got married shortly after the war ended in 2000, although it took another 5 years before they were able to move to the US together. They now live in Philadelphia with their two sons.
In this episode of the Loving Project podcast, Jen and Ermias discuss the experience of coming together during a turbulent time, learning to deal with racism in America, and why they recently moved their family to Ethiopia for a year.
Jean and Mas have been together since 1972 and married since 1992. Jean is white and was raised in Rochester, New York. Mas is Japanese-American and he was born in an internment camp during World War II and grew up in Seabrook, New Jersey.
Both longtime civil right activists, Jean and Mas met while they were both working for the American Friends Service Committee in Philadelphia.
They have two adult children and three grandchildren.
In this episode of the Loving Project, Jean and Mas talk about how their different backgrounds affect the way they communicate and how they've learned to navigate the world together.
Ken is Irish and Mee is Korean American. They met when Ken flew from Ireland to the United States for a friend's wedding, and the two quickly hit it off and began a trans-Atlantic relationship.
Mee was living in New York at the time, and after watching the Twin Towers fall on a TV screen, Ken realized he didn't want to be thousands of miles away and the couple began the emigration process.
In this episode of the Loving Project, Ken and Mee talk about the immigration process, some of similarities and differences between Korean and Irish culture, confronting stereotypes, and raising biracial children to appreciate both of their parents' cultures.
Joshu and Marleny met online in 2011. After a potentially disastrous first date, they hit it off and eventually got married in 2014. They now live in Philadelphia's Fishtown neighborhood.
Joshu is white and Marleny is black and was born in the Dominican Republic. She grew up speaking Spanish the fact that Joshu is a fluent speaker helped him quickly and easily integrate into her immigrant family. In this episode of the Loving Project podcast, Joshu and Marleny talk about how their relationship has helped them better understand everyday racial dynamics and their experiences in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election.
David and Belinda were part of each other's worlds before they even met. David would ride his bike to and from work in Pleasantville, NJ and Belinda would occasionally wave to him, a passing stranger, as she drove by. It so happened that they worked for the same company and later met at a training event at work.
Although Belinda was initially reluctant, they eventually began dating and then got married in 1985.
The couple has 3 children; the two oldest are from a previous relationship of David's and the youngest is Belinda's biological daughter, whom David eventually adopted.
In this episode of the Loving Project, David and Belinda discuss the ways in which their relationship has broadened their understanding, what they've learned about cultural differences, and how their unique personalities and backgrounds come together to create a balanced relationship.
Kevin and Lisa have been married since 2009. They live in New Jersey, where they're raising two young daughters.
Lisa is white, and grew up in Northeast Pennsylvania. Kevin is Korean and was raised in Western Pennsylvania by his adopted parents, who are white.
In this episode of the Loving Project, they talk about their multiracial family, some of the incorrect assumptions people make based on the way they look, and how the complicated relationship with race and culture that Kevin has as an adoptee.
Len and Fernando met and started dating in 1981 but they didn't get married until 2014, over 3 decades later. They literally fought for the right to marry; they were among several LGBT couples who were plaintiffs in the lawsuit that resulted in the legalization of same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania, a year before the US Supreme Court decision on marriage quality.
Len is white and grew up in Vermont; Fernando is Cuban-Chinese and grew up in Florida. They live in Philadelphia with their adopted daughter, who is African-American.
Jen and Shawn met in 2004 under sad circumstances when they lost a mutual friend. Eleven years later, they got married and now live in Lansdowne, PA with their 2-year-old son. Shawn is African American, and grew up in South Philadelphia while Jen is white, and spent her early years in Central Pennsylvania before her family moved to suburban Philadelphia.
In this episode of the Loving Project, Jen and Shawn discuss raising a biracial child and how people respond to their multi-colored, interracial family.
Kate and Courtney met while they were both students at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. Courtney is black, and grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. Kate is white, and grew up in Buffalo, New York. They've lived in Baltimore and Washington DC, and now make their home together in Philadelphia's Fishtown neighborhood.
They've been together since 1999, and married in 2014 after same-sex marriage was legalized in Pennsylvania.
In this episode of the Loving Project, they discuss growing up in multiracial families, differences between racism (and food) in the North and South, and navigating life as a multiracial same-sex couple.
Christine and Steve met at a party in Phialdelphia in the 1960s, and they've been together ever since. Christine is black, and grew up in Glassboro, New Jersey. Steve is white and was raised in Philadelphia.
In this episode of the Loving Project, they describe what it was like to be an interracial couple in the 1960s and 1970s, deciding to move to New York, where they felt more accepted at the time, and eventually coming back to Philadelphia, where they raised their son while running an alternative culture bookshop on Philadelphia's Bohemian South Street.
Lesley and Cord met while Lesley was working at Duke University and Cord was a graduate student at the school. In their very first conversation, Lesley impressed Cord with her critique of his favorite medieval author, St. Augustine, even though they had very different impressions of him. Despite their differences, the two became friends, and eventually began dating while both graduate students at Duke.
Lesley grew up in North Carolina while Cord was raised in New Jersey and Philadelphia. They got married in 2009 and live in Philadelphia with their three year-old daughter. In this episode of the Loving Project, Cord and Lesley discuss the impact of the 2016 election, the intersection of African-American and Southern culture, and their intentional approach to parenting a biracial child.
Eric and David married nearly 5 decades after the Supreme Court decision that legalized interracial marriage, but just a year after another Court ruling that made same-sex marriages like theirs legal across the United States.
David is white, and grew up in a small town in Oregon, before moving to Portland for college and then Princeton, New Jersey, where he studied at Princeton Theological Seminary.
Erci is black, and grew up in a black neighborhood in Baltimore, but went to a predominantly white high school.
The couple met in Philadelphia.
Mike and Kim met while working in a research lab at the University of Pennsylvania. At the time, Mike was a senior, while Kim had recently finished her PhD and was working as a postdoctoral researcher while raising her 10-year-old son.
Mike is the son of Taiwanese immigrants, who grew up in an agricultural area of Maryland, while Kim hails from Southern New Jersey.
In this episode of the Loving Project, they discuss food, culture, stereotypes, and the serendipitous circumstances that brought them together.
On June 12th, 1967, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Loving v. Virginia. That decision rendered all state laws banning interracial marriage unconstitutional and made it legal for individuals of different races to marry all across the USA.
Instead of telling one couple's story, in this Loving Day special, we hear from eight different couples about their thoughts on the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision. The following couples are included in the episode:
Florence and Ed met in the 1960's in Nashville while they were in college - Ed at Vanderbilt and Florence at Fisk University.
They began dating after getting to know each other as co-facilitators for the Upward Bound program and got married in 1968, just over a year after the Loving v. Virginia decision. When they got engaged, they had no idea that interracial marriage was illegal in Florence's home state of North Carolina where they planned to get married.
Michelle and Melissa met in college and were together for 12 years before getting married in 2017. Although they are both Philadelphia natives, they hail from very different parts of the city.
Melissa, who is white, grew up in Bridesburg, a neighborhood with a reputation for racism, while Michelle, who is Black, hails from Mount Airy, an area well known for diversity and inclusion. The reactions of their families to their relationship mirrors those of their communities - Michelle's family welcomed Melissa with open arms but Melissa's relationships with some extended family members are strained due to their attitudes towards Michelle.
Lori and Manuel have been married since 1999. Manuel is white and grew up in Spain. Lori is black and grew up in Wisconsin. They met at university in Spain, where Lori was studying abroad; eventually Manuel joined her in the United States where they lived first in New York and then in Philadelphia.
In this episode of the Loving Project podcast, Lori and Manuel talk about what it's like to raise biracial, bilingual children who are equally at home both in the US and in Spain. They also share their own experiences coming to terms with being part of an interracial marriage.
The Loving Project commemorates the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia by featuring modern stories of interracial marriage.
Aarati and Jonathan got married in 2006. Jonathan is White and Jewish and Aarati is Indian-American. They met in Chicago, where Aarati was pursuing her PhD and Jonathan was working as a journalist. They later moved to Washington DC, and then Philadelphia.
Born and raised in New Hampshire, Jonathan was unfamiliar with the daily realities of racism in the United States before he met and married Aarati and became the parent to two biracial children. Whereas Aarati, who was born in India and grew up in mixed race communities in Delaware describes herself as a "race straddler". Currently, they both work in the arena of racial and social justice.
In this episode of the Loving Project podcast, they discuss the joys of sharing both their cultures with their children and of watching them develop their own racial identities.
Anastasia and Symeon met online while they were working at that same university. They married in 2011 and live in Philadelphia with their two young sons.
Symeon grew up in rural New York state, while Anastasia grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
In the episode, they discuss the things they have in common, such as a love of travel, close relationships with their families, and a history of being "the kid with the weird name". They also reflect on the ways their backgrounds sometimes lead them to view the world differently, how they find common ground, and what it's like to raise biracial children in a racialized world.
Donna and Craig have been married since 1988. Craig is White and grew up in Queens, New York. Donna is Black and was born in the United States, but lived in Belgium for about 10 years before returning to New York, where she and Craig first met.
The couple lived in New Jersey for a while before settling down in the suburbs of Philadelphia, where they raised two children who are now in their 20's.
In this episode, Craig and Donna discuss some of the realities of interracial dating in the '80s, the experience of raising biracial children in a mostly White community, and the couple's decision to become involved in racial justice activism in recent years.
Beth and Helaina are an interracial couple living in Philadelphia’s Mount Airy neighborhood. They got married in a wedding ceremony in Philadelphia in 2007, before gay marriage became legal nationwide.
They later had a legal ceremony in California while Helaina was carrying their first child. The couple now has four children, all biracial.
Shaina is a white Jewish woman from Texas. Brahim is a black, Muslim, Berber Arab from Morocco.
They met while Shaina was volunteering for an organization Brahim started in a small village in Morocco, and after Shaina returned to the United States, Brahim decided to start the immigration process so they could be together.
Now they live in West Philadelphia, where they're raising their son to understand that he comes from two very different cultural backgrounds.
Dave and Courtney have been married since 2010, and they're raising an 18 month old boy in West Philadelphia.
Courtney is African American, while Dave is white, and they're both navigating what it means to raise a biracial child in the era of Black Lives Matter.
Arun and Carrie got married in 2001; Arun is Indian and Carrie is white. Both grew up in Northeast Ohio, and they now live in Philadelphia with their two children.
Arun grew up in a close-knit Indian community where arranged marriages were the norm; theirs was the first interracial marriage to be openly accepted in that community.
The couple talks about the long road it took to get there and the changes in attitudes within that community over the past 15 years.
Olivia and John got married in 2015 and live in Philadelphia's Mount Airy neighborhood.
John is white, and Olivia is Filipino-American. Both of their families have been welcoming of their relationship, but as they think about starting their own family, they do think about the challenges their biracial child may face.