Hansi Lo Wang

Hansi Lo Wang is a reporter covering race, ethnicity, and culture for NPR's new Code Switch team.

Based in Washington, D.C., he previously served as a production assistant for NPR's Weekend Edition and was awarded the NPR Kroc Fellowship, during which he reported for NPR's National Desk and Seattle public radio station KUOW.

A Philadelphia native, Wang founded a radio reporting program for high school students in Philadelphia's Chinatown in 2008. He has also worked as a refugee housing coordinator.

He graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science from Swarthmore College. As a student, he hosted, produced, and reported for a weekly, student-run program on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a native Chinese speaker of both Mandarin and Cantonese dialects.

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2:55pm

Fri November 29, 2013
Code Switch

New Pilot Program Gives Immigrant Detainees Public Defenders

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 11:34 am

Matthew Diller, dean of Yeshiva University's Cardozo School of Law, talks with press about the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project in June.
Cardozo School of Law

In the American criminal justice system, you have the right to an attorney. And if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.

That's not the case if you're a defendant in U.S. immigration court. Immigration proceedings are civil matters, and the Constitution does not extend the right to court-appointed attorneys to immigrant detainees.

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3:07am

Tue November 19, 2013
Code Switch

A New Life For An Old Slave Jail

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 7:31 pm

Formerly known as the Alexandria Slave Pen, this ashen gray row house in Alexandria, Va., once housed one of the country's largest slave-dealing firms.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

President Abraham Lincoln stood on a battlefield in Gettysburg, Pa., 150 years ago and declared "a new birth of freedom" for the nation.

That same year, an African-American man named Lewis Henry Bailey experienced his own rebirth. At age 21, Bailey was freed from slavery in Texas. His journey began in Virginia, where he was sold as a child in a slave jail.

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5:20am

Sat November 9, 2013
Code Switch

Asian-American Lawyers Act Like '22 Lewd Chinese Women'

Originally published on Sat November 9, 2013 11:24 am

Attorney Francis Chin (center) runs through his lines with Yang Chen at a rehearsal for 22 Lewd Chinese Women, the latest trial re-enactment by the Asian American Bar Association of New York.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

A cast of New York lawyers and a federal judge debuted a new production on Friday off-off Broadway — all the way in Kansas City, Mo.

Attorneys have gathered there for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association's annual convention. For the past seven years, the meeting has featured dramatic re-enactments of historic trials involving Asian-Americans.

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5:46pm

Mon November 4, 2013
NPR Story

Amid A Rough Patch, Howard University Faces Flagging Morale

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 5:12 pm

Students walk by Founders Library on Howard University campus in Washington, D.C.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Howard University, one of the country's most prominent historically black schools, has hit a rough patch in recent months.

The school's Faculty Senate recently voted no confidence in leaders of the school's Board of Trustees. That vote came just weeks after Howard's president announced a surprise early retirement and Moody's Investors Service downgraded the university's credit rating, as my Code Switch teammate Gene Demby has reported.

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7:11am

Sun November 3, 2013
Law

N.Y. Stop-And-Frisk Reforms On Hold For New Year, New Mayor

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 3:45 pm

New York police officers walk through a Brooklyn housing development in August.
Seth Wenig AP

In New York City, the country's largest police force has been involved in a high-profile legal battle over its stop-and-frisk policy.

Few policies of outgoing New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg have been as controversial as stop-and-frisk, the tactic New York police use to stop people on the streets without a search warrant.

The police department says it's been vital in catching criminals and reducing the city's crime rate.

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6:01am

Sun October 27, 2013
Code Switch

N.Y. Chinatown Family Finds Roots In Early Chinese Cinema

Harold Lee's son Henry, perched on the roof of a camera truck, helped produce and import Chinese-language films from Hong Kong and China in the late 1940s.
Courtesy of the Lee Family

Douglas Lee thought he knew just about everything about the family business.

Since the late 1930s, the Lee family has sold insurance at 31 Pell Street in New York City's Chinatown. Their entrepreneurial roots in the Chinese-American community stretch back to 1888, when the Lees opened a grocery store at the same location.

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6:44am

Sat October 19, 2013
Code Switch

'12 Years' Is The Story Of A Slave Whose End Is A Mystery

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 11:18 am

In the new film adaptation of Twelve Years A Slave, Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Solomon Northup, a black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841.
Jaap Buitendijk Fox Searchlight Pictures

There's a true American saga on screens this weekend.

Twelve Years a Slave tells the story of Solomon Northup. He was an African-American musician from New York — a free man, until he was kidnapped in Washington, D.C., and sold into slavery. After an unlikely rescue from a Louisiana cotton plantation, he returned home and wrote a memoir, first published 160 years ago.

But the end of Northup's story is an unsolved mystery that has confounded historians for years.

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6:15am

Sat October 5, 2013
Code Switch

'Linsanity': For Asian Fans, It Felt Just Like 'Young Love'

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 12:44 pm

Jeremy Lin fans cheer during a game between the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers in March 2012.
Drew Hallowell Getty Images

Twenty months after it first took pop culture by storm, the global sports craze known as "Linsanity" has found a revival on screen.

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6:18pm

Mon September 23, 2013
Code Switch

After Drop, Number Of Immigrants Illegally In U.S. Levels Off

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 7:01 pm

Young people stand in line in Los Angeles to apply for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows qualified immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally as children to study or work openly.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

The latest estimate by the Pew Research Center puts the number of immigrants living illegally in the U.S. at 11.7 million.

This new number, based on U.S. government data, can be found in a report released Monday titled "Population Decline of Unauthorized Immigrants Stalls, May Have Reversed." The key word in that headline is "may." As the authors write in the report:

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5:03pm

Sat September 21, 2013
Economy

Stuck In Poverty Amid Signs Of Recovery

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 5:45 pm

Food distributed by the Manna Food Center is packed in cardboard boxes to be loaded into clients' cars.
Chloe Coleman NPR

For the third year in a row, the poverty rate has remained stuck at about 15 percent. Nearly one in six Americans was living in poverty in 2012, according to a new report by the Census Bureau. Despite a slow-moving economic recovery, these latest numbers show that for poor Americans, there are few signs of any recovery.

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7:19pm

Wed September 11, 2013
Code Switch

'Baby Veronica' Custody Battle Continues

Veronica, the child at the center of an adoption dispute, smiles in the bathroom of the Cherokee Nation Jack Brown Center in Oklahoma.
Mike Simons/Tulsa World AP

The U.S. Supreme Court may have decided almost three months ago the case known as Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl. But the young Native American girl known as "Baby Veronica," who turns 4 years old on Sunday, is still stuck in legal limbo.

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5:46am

Sun September 1, 2013
Code Switch

Asians-Only Volleyball Brings Community Together

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 11:23 am

Sam Li, 52 (center, lime green) has been playing 9-man volleyball for nearly 30 years and keeps up with the younger players.
Kainaz Amaria/NPR

Volleyball games are stopping traffic on one of Washington, D.C.'s landmark streets, Pennsylvania Avenue, this Labor Day weekend.

More than 1,000 players from across the U.S. and Canada have gathered in the nation's capital to bump, set and spike in an annual tournament with unusual rules.

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12:33pm

Wed August 28, 2013
U.S.

Crowd Amped Up For March On Washington Commemoration

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

Fifty years ago today, more than a quarter million Americans stepped out of chartered buses, trains and cars and marched towards the foot of the Lincoln Memorial. This morning, thousands have come again to the nation's capital to retrace those steps and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for jobs and freedom.

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5:07pm

Sat August 24, 2013
Race

50 Years Later, A March On Washington Among Generations

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 3:55 pm

Demonstrators on Saturday in Washington, D.C., commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters/Landov

They came by the beat of drums: grandparents with their grandchildren, community organizers and activists, church members and college students.

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3:05am

Mon August 19, 2013
Code Switch

Not Just A 'Black Thing': An Asian-American's Bond With Malcolm X

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 1:22 am

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

The brief friendship of Malcolm X and Yuri Kochiyama began close to 50 years ago with a handshake.

Diane Fujino, chairwoman of the Asian-American studies department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, details the moment in her biography Heartbeat of Struggle: The Revolutionary Life of Yuri Kochiyama.

Kochiyama and her eldest son, 16-year-old Billy, were arrested along with hundreds of other people, mainly African-Americans, during a protest in Brooklyn, N.Y., in October 1963.

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