Hansi Lo Wang

Hansi Lo Wang is a National Desk reporter based at NPR's New York Bureau. He covers issues and events in the Northeast.

He previously reported on race, ethnicity and culture for NPR's Code Switch team. Since joining NPR in 2010 as a Kroc Fellow, he's contributed to NPR's breaking news coverage of the 2013 tornado in Moore, Okla., the trial of George Zimmerman in Florida and the Washington Navy Yard shooting. He has also reported for Seattle public radio station KUOW and worked behind the scenes of NPR's Weekend Edition as a production assistant.

In 2014, he won the National Journalism Award for General Excellence in Radio from the Asian American Journalists Association for his profile of a white member of a Boston Chinatown gang. He was also a finalist for a Salute to Excellence National Media Award from the National Association of Black Journalists.

A Philadelphia native, Wang speaks both Mandarin and Cantonese dialects of Chinese. As a student at Swarthmore College, he hosted, produced, and reported for a weekly podcast on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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8:57am

Sat June 14, 2014
Code Switch

50 Years Ago, Freedom Summer Began By Training For Battle

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 6:51 pm

Freedom Summer activists sing before leaving training sessions at Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio, for Mississippi in June 1964.
Ted Polumbaum Collection Newseum

Idealism drove hundreds of college students to Mississippi 50 years ago.

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4:56pm

Fri June 13, 2014
Code Switch

An Opera Remembers The Tragedy Of An Asian-American Soldier

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 12:34 pm

Andrew Stenson plays Pvt. Danny Chen in An American Soldier, a new opera about the hazing and death of the Chinese-American soldier from New York City.
Sarah Tilotta NPR

About two years ago, playwright David Henry Hwang turned down an offer to write a play about the brief life and suicide of Army Pvt. Danny Chen.

But an opera? He couldn't refuse.

"This is a story with big emotions, big primary colors in a way, and big plot events," says Hwang, who wrote the libretto for An American Soldier, a new hourlong opera commissioned by Washington National Opera.

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4:36pm

Mon June 2, 2014
Remembrances

Civil Rights Activist Yuri Kochiyama Dies At 93

Prominent activist Yuri Kochiyama has died of natural causes at 93. The civil rights champion successfully fought for reparations to be paid to Japanese-Americans interned during World War II.

12:51am

Mon June 2, 2014
Code Switch

Yuri Kochiyama, Activist And Former World War II Internee, Dies At 93

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 6:50 pm

Yuri Kochiyama looks at a memorial for World War II Japanese-American internees at the Rohwer Relocation Center in Rohwer, Ark., in 2004.
Mike Wintroath AP

Japanese-American activist Yuri Kochiyama has died of natural causes in Berkeley, Calif., at age 93. The lifelong champion of civil rights causes in the black, Latino, Native American and Asian-American communities died peacefully in her sleep Sunday morning, according to her family.

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8:02am

Sun May 25, 2014
Around the Nation

Isla Vista Killing Spree Claims 7 Lives, Including Suspect

Originally published on Sun May 25, 2014 11:51 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We begin this hour in Isla Vista, Calif. The small college town near Santa Barbara continues to grieve this morning after a killing spree late Friday night. Authorities say 22-year-old Elliott Rodger apparently took his own life after killing six others and injuring 13. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang reports.

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3:49pm

Fri May 23, 2014
Code Switch

Congress To Award Highest Honor To Army's Only Latino Unit

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 2:13 pm

Sgt. Carmelo C. Mathews (left) holds up a Puerto Rican flag riddled by enemy shellfire, as Pfc. Angel Perales (right) points to the protruding finger of Capt. Francisco Orobitg in Korea in 1952.
AP

Congress passed a bill on Thursday to honor the U.S. Army's only segregated Latino unit with the Congressional Gold Medal. If the bill is signed into law by President Obama, the 65th Infantry Regiment of Puerto Rico, also known as the Borinqueneers, will join Puerto Rican baseball star Roberto Clemente as the only Hispanics to be awarded the highest civilian honor given by Congress.

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3:31am

Tue May 20, 2014
Code Switch

Oklahoma's Latino Community Prepares For The Next Tornado

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 11:43 am

Gloria and Francisco Sanchez stand in front of their new ranch house, still under construction a year after a tornado destroyed their last home in Moore, Okla.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

A devastating EF-5 tornado ripped through Moore, Okla., a year ago Tuesday. Just 11 days later, another twister ravaged the Oklahoma City metro area.

Nine of the 23 people who died as a result of the second storm were members of the local Latino community. Their deaths have sparked efforts to better prepare Hispanic families for storms.

On a windy afternoon in Oklahoma City, American Red Cross volunteer Ivelisse Cruz hands out stickers to families at the Children's Day Festival.

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5:23pm

Sat May 10, 2014
History

Descendants Of Chinese Laborers Reclaim Railroad's History

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 9:55 pm

A group of Asian-Americans, including descendants of Chinese railroad workers, recreated an iconic photo on the 145th anniversary of the first transcontinental railroad's completion at Promontory Summit, Utah.
Courtesy of Corky Lee

East finally met West 145 years ago on America's first transcontinental railroad.

The symbolic hammering of a golden spike at Promontory Summit, Utah, completed the connection between the country's two coasts and shortened a cross-country trip of more than six months down to a week.

Much of the building was done by thousands of laborers brought in from China, but their faces were left out of photographs taken on that momentous day.

Over the years, one photograph in particular from May 10, 1869, has taken root in U.S. history.

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5:03am

Mon April 21, 2014
Code Switch

In Asian-Majority District, House Race Divides Calif. Voters

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 1:52 pm

Rep. Mike Honda (left) walks down the House steps with Rep. Raul Ruiz after a vote at the Capitol on March 20, 2013.
Bill Clark CQ-Roll Call

In the heated race for a congressional seat in northern California, Mai Xuan Nguyen fought for her candidate with another cold call.

"Yes, that's K, H, A, N, N, A," she patiently explained in Vietnamese to a potential voter, spelling out her choice for Congress, Democrat Ro Khanna, as she marked her call list one recent evening at a coffeehouse in San Jose, Calif.

It was all part of Nguyen's role in an only-in-America scene: a Vietnamese-language phone bank for an Indian-American lawyer, who's challenging a Japanese-American congressman.

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8:12am

Sat April 19, 2014
Code Switch

In Silicon Valley, Immigrants Toast Their Way To The Top

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 12:18 pm

Engineer Mit Shah gives a speech at a meeting of the "ArtICCulators" Toastmasters Club in Milpitas, Calif.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

Public speaking can be nerve-wracking whatever your native tongue. It can be especially difficult for immigrants who speak English as a second language.

In California's Silicon Valley, some immigrant tech workers strengthen their voices by joining public speaking support groups like Toastmasters clubs.

Members usually meet once a week to practice giving speeches, which are timed to the second and judged for grammar and presentation. There's even a designated counter of ums and ahs.

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7:58pm

Tue April 1, 2014
Code Switch

The Harlem Hellfighters: Fighting Racism In The Trenches Of WWI

The Harlem Hellfighters, a new graphic novel by Max Brooks, retells the story of the first African-American unit to fight in World War I.
Caanan White Courtesy of Broadway Books

The 369th Infantry Regiment served 191 days under enemy fire in Europe. They returned home one of the most decorated American units of World War I.

"The French called them the 'Men of Bronze' out of respect, and the Germans called them the 'Harlem Hellfighters' out of fear," explains Max Brooks, author of The Harlem Hellfighters, a new graphic novel about the first African-American infantry unit to fight in World War I.

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8:36am

Wed March 12, 2014
Code Switch

Changing Demographics A Factor In Rhode Island's Gubernatorial Race

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 12:06 pm

Two supporters of gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo walk past protesting union members outside a rally at which Raimondo announced her run for the Democratic nomination in Rhode Island in January.
Michael Dwyer AP

Parades, social clubs and awards dinners are part of the routine of political campaigns everywhere. But if you're running to be Rhode Island's next governor, then there's one more stop you just can't miss.

Namely, the makeshift studios of Latino Public Radio, which is housed in a two-story, single-family home complete with a living room, dog and cat.

This local Spanish-language radio station based in Cranston, R.I., was co-founded almost a decade ago by Pablo Rodriguez.

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7:02pm

Wed February 26, 2014
Code Switch

To Play The Part, Actors Must Talk The Talk — In Chinese

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 12:08 pm

Chinese billionaire Xander Feng, played by Terry Chen, shakes hands with Francis Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, in Netflix's House of Cards.
Nathaniel E. Bell Courtesy of Netflix

The success of the Netflix series House of Cards lies in the details.

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7:36pm

Fri February 21, 2014
Code Switch

Asian-American Contestant, 'Villain' Of 'Jeopardy,' Set To Return

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 2:55 pm

Game show contestant Arthur Chu with host Alex Trebek on the set of Jeopardy!
Courtesy of Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

If there are any unwritten rules to playing Jeopardy! Arthur Chu may have broken them all.

During his four-day winning streak in late January, he sometimes interrupted host Alex Trebek and cut in before the host could finish a sentence. He often jumped to the hardest clues on the board first and furiously tapped his buzzer whenever he knew the answer.

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7:59pm

Thu February 20, 2014
Code Switch

For Abused Native American Women, New Law Provides A 'Ray Of Hope'

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 8:07 pm

Deborah Parker, vice chair of the Tulalip Tribes of Washington state, reacts to President Barack Obama signing the Violence Against Women Act in 2013 in Washington.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

This Thursday, three Native American tribes are changing how they administer justice.

For almost four decades, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling has barred tribes from prosecuting non-American Indian defendants. But as part of last year's re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act, a new program now allows tribes to try some non-Indian defendants in domestic abuse cases.

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