Hansi Lo Wang

Hansi Lo Wang is a reporter covering race, ethnicity and culture for NPR's Code Switch team. In early 2015, he will move to NPR's New York bureau to cover the Northeast as a National Desk reporter.

After joining NPR in 2010 as a Kroc Fellow, Wang reported on topics ranging from immigration and demographics to movies and graphic novels. 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. His report on a former slave jail near Washington, D.C., was chosen as a finalist for a Salute to Excellence National Media Award from the National Association of Black Journalists.

Wang contributed to NPR's breaking news coverage of the 2013 tornado in Moore, Okla., the trial of George Zimmerman in Florida, the Washington Navy Yard shooting and the chemical spill in West Virginia's Elk River. He has also reported for Seattle public radio station KUOW and worked behind the scenes of NPR's Weekend Edition as a production assistant.

Currently based in Washington, D.C., Wang was born in Philadelphia, where his first job was to find and furnish apartments for newly-arrived refugees. He graduated from Swarthmore College with a bachelor's degree in political science. As a student, he hosted, produced, and reported for a weekly radio program on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Wang speaks both Mandarin and Cantonese dialects of Chinese.

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Politics
3:33 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Concern Over New-Voter Registration In Georgia Ahead Of Election

A voter casts her ballot at a polling site for Georgia's 2014 primary election in Atlanta.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 4:26 pm

This election season is proving to be tough for Democrats, but many believe they can turn the red state of Georgia blue with the help of new voters.

One voter registration campaign led by the New Georgia Project, a "nonpartisan effort" according to its website, has targeted black, Latino and Asian-American residents.

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Code Switch
6:03 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Mexico Pays To Help Its Citizens Avoid Deportation From The U.S.

Mexican consulates, like this one in Houston, are helping some unauthorized immigrants from Mexico pay application fees for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
WhisperToMe Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 7:08 pm

Mexico is helping some of its citizens apply for a controversial immigration program in the U.S. called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

Since the Obama administration created the program in 2012, more than 580,000 unauthorized immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors have received temporary relief from deportation and been given work permits that last for at least two years.

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Code Switch
8:59 am
Sun August 24, 2014

50 Years Before Ferguson, A Summer Of Riots Racked The U.S.

Police officers struggle with a man dripping wet from the blast of a fire hose during rioting in Rochester, N.Y., in 1964.
Dozier Mobley AP

Originally published on Sun August 24, 2014 11:02 am

Fifty years ago this summer — a half-century before the protests in Ferguson, Mo. — riots broke out in seven cities in New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Pennsylvania, sparked by confrontations between black residents and their predominantly white police forces.

In Philadelphia, the violence began after dark, in late August.

"It was a hot day and just wasn't too much activity in the hood, as they say," remembers Kenneth Salaam, who was 15 years old in 1964.

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Code Switch
7:03 am
Sat July 26, 2014

At Washington's Training Camp, Fans Are Split On Name Change

A Washington Redskins helmet lies on the turf at the football team's training facility in Richmond, Va.
AP

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 2:52 pm

Washington, D.C.'s football team has opened its training camp in Richmond, Va., just weeks after trademark registrations for its name were revoked.

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Code Switch
6:54 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

New York's 'Night Of Birmingham Horror' Sparked A Summer Of Riots

Helmeted New York City police carry away a rioter at West 130th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem on July 19, 1964.
AP
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Remembrances
8:52 am
Sun July 13, 2014

'Without Tommy, There's No Ramones'

Tommy Ramone, the original drummer for the Ramones, died Friday at the age of 65.
Ian Dickson Redferns/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 7:38 am

Punk rock music has lost one of its earliest pioneers.

Tommy Ramone died of cancer on Friday at his home in Queens, N.Y. He was the last surviving member of the original Ramones.

Tommy Ramone was Tamás Erdélyi before he became a "Ramone" and produced punk rock classics like "Rockaway Beach."

He was born in Budapest, where, as kid, he once had a memorable trip to see a movie about America.

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Code Switch
6:01 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Language Barriers Pose Challenges For Mayan Migrant Children

Hugo Pascual Tomas Manuel, 15, attends English classes at the Guatemalan-Maya Center in Lake Worth, Fla. He grew up speaking Q'anjob'al, or Kanjobal, an indigenous Mayan language.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 6:43 pm

Among the tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors who have come from Central America this year are children who speak little or no Spanish. Many are from Guatemala's indigenous communities, who speak more than 20 different Mayan languages.

Rafael Domingo, 16, grew up in Guatemala speaking Q'anjob'al, sometimes referred to as Kanjobal. The youngest son of a single mother, he rode a bus, walked for miles and crossed a river before he was stopped at the Texas border.

"It was so difficult to come to this country," Domingo says through an interpreter.

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Code Switch
8:44 am
Wed June 25, 2014

The Map Of Native American Tribes You've Never Seen Before

Aaron Carapella, a self-taught mapmaker in Warner, Okla., has designed a map of Native American tribes showing their locations before first contact with Europeans.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 6:14 pm

Finding an address on a map can be taken for granted in the age of GPS and smartphones. But centuries of forced relocation, disease and genocide have made it difficult to find where many Native American tribes once lived.

Aaron Carapella, a self-taught mapmaker in Warner, Okla., has pinpointed the locations and original names of hundreds of American Indian nations before their first contact with Europeans.

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Code Switch
7:57 am
Sat June 14, 2014

50 Years Ago, Freedom Summer Began By Training For Battle

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

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 5:51 pm

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

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History
4:23 pm
Sat May 10, 2014

Descendants Of Chinese Laborers Reclaim Railroad's History

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

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 8:55 pm

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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