The Multiracial Family and Couples Project

When families and couples in distress come to therapy, they often present with a wide range of difficulties. For multiracial families and couples these difficulties can be intricately shaped by their particular racial experiences.

Since the 1967 Supreme Court decision that deemed anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional, interracial marriages have increased from 2% of married couples in 1970 to 7% in 2005 and 8.4% in 2010.  Multiracial Americans numbered 2.9% of the total population, and 5.6% of the population under age 18 in 2010 (Jones & Symens Smith, 2006; Yen, 2012).  Additionally, couplehood has become more diverse and is no longer limited to the realm of marriage. The Multiracial Family & Couples Project (MRFCP) hopes to address a deficit in our knowledge of couples who are engaged in relationships that transcend racial and ethnic categories as defined by the dominant culture. In addition, it hopes to bring into focus how we come to a comprehensive, yet specific, understanding about the ways in which the legacy of racism, experiences pertaining to institutionalized racism, and day-to-day embodiments of racial oppression and racial privilege, shape the narrative of each person in the family and couple and in turn impact their interactions within their family. The MRFCP aims to assist self-identified multiracial families find solutions to their difficulties and navigate the complexity of race and the legacy of racial dynamics in their relationship as they celebrate their similarities as well as their differences.

The Multiracial Family & Couples Project was formed in 2014 at the Ackerman Institute for the Family as part of a larger institutional effort to “stay in the conversation” about race and the impact of racial dynamics on the families and couples. The project is composed of a multiracial team of trained family therapists who are committed to tracking the manifestations of racial dynamics within the family and couples, the client-therapist racial dynamic, the racial dynamic within the team of consultants and how these factors interplay.

Project Director: Dorimar Morales, LCSW

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