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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6:04pm

Wed July 29, 2015
Code Switch

Once Outlaws, Young Lords Find A Museum Home For Radical Roots

Originally published on Wed July 29, 2015 7:56 pm

Johanna Fernández, co-curator of a new exhibition about the Young Lords, points to pages of the group's newspaper on display at the Bronx Museum of the Arts.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

They were under watch by the FBI and the New York Police Department. And by the early 1970s, the Young Lords emerged as one of the country's most prominent radical groups led by Latino activists.

Inspired by the Black Panthers, a band of young Puerto Ricans wanted to form a Latino counterpart to the black nationalist group. In fact, one of the founding Young Lords in New York City almost started a group called the "Brown Tigers."

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5:16am

Thu July 23, 2015
The Salt

Fast-Food Workers Cheer As $15 Minimum Wage Advances In New York State

Originally published on Thu July 23, 2015 2:40 pm

Labor leaders, workers and activists attend a rally for a $15 minimum hourly wage Wednesday in New York City. A panel appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo recommended the increase.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

There aren't a lot of obscure government board meetings that warrant a watch party, let alone one with a marching band.

But that's how fast-food restaurant workers and their supporters celebrated Wednesday on a blocked-off street in Manhattan, as they watched a state panel recommend a $6.25 increase in their hourly wage, to $15.

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5:44am

Wed July 22, 2015
U.S.

Newark Police Department Joins A Dozen Others Facing Federal Scrutiny

Originally published on Wed July 22, 2015 2:43 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

5:37am

Tue July 21, 2015
Business

Facing Tough Competition, A&P Seeks Bankruptcy Protection

Originally published on Tue July 21, 2015 2:02 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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6:33pm

Sat July 18, 2015
U.S.

Theodore Roosevelt's 'Summer White House' Reopens To The Public

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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5:43am

Tue July 14, 2015
Around the Nation

New York Will Pay Eric Garner Family $5.9 Million To Avoid Lawsuit

Originally published on Tue July 14, 2015 7:15 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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7:54am

Sat July 4, 2015
Around the Nation

'Chasing Memories' In Their Refugee Camp 40 Years After Fleeing Vietnam

Originally published on Sat July 4, 2015 11:04 am

Former refugee Kuo Nam Lo, the reporter's mother, stands outside an old army barracks that's been converted into the Pennsylvania National Guard Military Museum at Fort Indiantown Gap.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

My mother's family fled communism twice.

The first time was from China. Then, after Saigon fell in 1975, they left Vietnam.

My mother, Kuo Nam Lo, was 24 when she spent her first few months in the U.S. at a refugee camp at a military base along a stretch of the Appalachian Mountains in central Pennsylvania.

"I've always wanted to come back here," my mother told me in Cantonese on a recent drive through Fort Indiantown Gap. "Son, you've made my dream come true."

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6:11am

Wed June 24, 2015
Around the Nation

S.C. Retailers Caught In The Middle Of Renewed Debate Over Confederate Flag

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 10:06 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

7:03am

Sat May 23, 2015
The Salt

Clean Your Grill, And Other Hot Holiday Tips From Alton Brown

Planning to grill this Memorial Day? Below, Food Network chef Alton Brown has some tips to keep your flavor from going up in smoke.
iStockphoto

Editor's note: A version of this story was originally published in May 2012.

If there's one grilling tip to remember this Memorial Day weekend, it should be this: Flame is bad.

"Flame does nasty things to food," food historian and science guy Alton Brown tells NPR's Scott Simon.

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3:34am

Thu May 14, 2015
Code Switch

N.Y. Police Shooting Case Divides City's Asian-Americans

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 4:00 pm

NYPD Officer Peter Liang arrives at Kings County Supreme Court in Brooklyn, N.Y., after being indicted for the fatal shooting of an unarmed man while patrolling the darkened stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project last November.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters/Landov

Of all the police officers involved in the recent deaths of unarmed men which have drawn national attention, only one is Asian-American – New York City Police Officer Peter Liang, the son of Chinese immigrants.

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4:50pm

Mon May 11, 2015
Business

New York Announces Crackdown On Nail Salons

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 3:57 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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10:38pm

Fri May 8, 2015
Around the Nation

A New Baltimore Model? 'Officer On The Beat ... Pastor On The Corner'

Originally published on Sat May 9, 2015 12:35 am

Pastor Rodney Hudson sits on the steps of Ames Memorial United Methodist Church in West Baltimore, blocks away from the center of the protests and rioting that occurred last month.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

The federal investigation into Baltimore's police force is one of the first steps some in the city believe will rebuild the relationship between officers and residents.

Some faith leaders are optimistic that can be done, and past police programs have helped. But other residents are skeptical that West Baltimore residents' trust can be regained.

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3:40am

Fri April 17, 2015
Code Switch

Deaths Of Unarmed Black Men Revive 'Anti-Lynching Plays'

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 2:06 pm

Lauren Lattimore (left), Wi-Moto Nyoka, Edmund Alyn Jones and Courtney Harge rehearse a scene from Blue-Eyed Black Boy, a play about lynching that was written around 1930.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

An obscure but riveting genre of theater is being revived in New York City.

They're called "anti-lynching plays." Most were written by black playwrights during the early 1900s to show how lynchings devastated African-American families.

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5:04pm

Fri April 10, 2015
Code Switch

Painting The 'Epic Drama' Of The Great Migration: The Work Of Jacob Lawrence

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 8:58 pm

Each of the 60 paintings in Jacob Lawrence's Great Migration series is accompanied with a caption. For this panel, he wrote in 1941: "In every town Negroes were leaving by the hundreds to go North and enter into Northern industry."
Courtesy of The Phillips Collection

There's no historical marker outside Jacob Lawrence's childhood home in New York City's Harlem neighborhood.

But Khalil Gibran Muhammad, director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, has an idea of what it might say: "Here lived one of the 20th century's most influential visual artists, a man named Jacob Lawrence, who was a child of southern migrants."

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10:16pm

Thu April 9, 2015
Code Switch

Civilians Can Record Police Encounters, But When Is It Interference?

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 2:50 pm

Cellphones were used to record a 2012 confrontation between protesters and police in Springfield, Ill.
Seth Perlman AP

The arrest of South Carolina police Officer Michael Slager, who shot and killed Walter Scott in North Charleston this week, came shortly after the release of a cellphone video recorded by an eyewitness.

The filming of police by civilians has also sparked controversy, and it often causes confusion about what is legal.

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5:12pm

Wed April 1, 2015
Law

Sen. Robert Menendez Indicted On Corruption Charges

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 8:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A grand jury has indicted Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey on federal corruption charges. Menendez made a brief statement to reporters after the indictment was announced.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

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3:34am

Wed March 4, 2015
U.S.

Immigrants Worry They'll Face Deportation After Deferred Action Delay

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 3:21 pm

Wilfredis Ayala, an unauthorized immigrant from El Salvador, lives on Long Island, N.Y., with his U.S.-born son, Justin, and Justin's mother, Wendy Urbina.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

Around 4 million unauthorized immigrants are stuck in legal limbo more than two weeks after a federal judge in Texas suspended President Obama's move to temporarily protect them from deportation.

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5:14am

Sat February 21, 2015
Code Switch

Korean Tailors Try To Keep The Lunar New Year Hanbok Ritual Alive

Originally published on Sat February 21, 2015 11:06 pm

Models present the traditional costume known as hanbok during the 2010 Korea Hanbok Festival in Seoul.
Ahn Young-joon AP

Getting ready for the Lunar New Year once meant buying a new set of clothes for many families of Korean ancestry.

For centuries, the costume known as hanbok – a two-piece outfit traditionally made of embroidered cotton or silk worn by men and women – has played a central role in the new year's wardrobe.

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4:07pm

Tue February 17, 2015
Around the Nation

Judge's Decision Leaves Immigrants In Legal Limbo

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 7:08 pm

Jesus, an unauthorized immigrant from Mexico, gets help with tax documents from Mun Yin Yeow, a staff member at Atlas: DIY, a nonprofit in Brooklyn, N.Y. He asked NPR not to use his last name because he fears deportation if his application for deportation relief is not approved.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

A federal judge in South Texas said President Obama had overstepped his authority with his executive actions on immigration. Now, the new court ruling has left some unauthorized immigrants in legal limbo and slowed down months of preparation by immigration attorneys.

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6:59pm

Mon February 2, 2015
Around the Nation

Fuhgeddaboudit: New York Accent On Its Way Out, Linguists Say

Originally published on Mon June 1, 2015 7:26 pm

Heather Quinlan searched for New York accents around the city for her documentary If These Knishes Could Talk. She holds up a sign at the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

There are some cities you can identify with just an accent, including New York.

But linguists say that those who speak in the classic New York tongue are part of a dying breed.

To find them, filmmaker Heather Quinlan went accent hunting around the city, holding a sign that reads, "Do you have a New York accent? Then talk to me." She directed If These Knishes Could Talk: The Story of the New York Accent, a documentary about the decline of many of New York's well-known accents.

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5:16pm

Thu January 29, 2015
Code Switch

University Re-Imagines Town And Gown Relationship In Philadelphia

Originally published on Mon February 2, 2015 5:40 am

New apartment buildings are replacing empty lots in Mantua, one of Philadelphia's poorest neighborhoods.
Will Figg for NPR

Dinner is served in the West Philadelphia neighborhood of Mantua.

"You look like you're ready to have a great Dornsife neighborhood partnership meal! Am I right about it?" Rose Samuel-Evans asks the crowd at a free community dinner of chicken marsala and stuffed flounder hosted by Drexel University.

Samuel-Evans works in this two-story, orange-brick schoolhouse; it's one of three refurbished buildings that opened last summer north of campus as part of Drexel's Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships.

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5:19pm

Sun January 18, 2015
Code Switch

Broken Promises On Display At Native American Treaties Exhibit

Originally published on Sun January 18, 2015 5:33 pm

Suzan Shown Harjo points to a signature on Treaty K at the National Archives. The document will be on display in 2016 at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian for an exhibit on treaties curated by Harjo.
James Clark NPR

For centuries, treaties have defined the relationship between many Native American nations and the U.S. More than 370 ratified treaties have helped the U.S. expand its territory and led to many broken promises made to American Indians.

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4:38pm

Thu January 1, 2015
Law

New Year Brings New Batch Of Laws On Chickens, Recycling And Consent

Originally published on Thu January 1, 2015 10:34 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

A batch of new state laws go into effect around the country today. They address issues including sexual assault, discarded electronics and animal welfare. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang reports.

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3:55am

Thu November 20, 2014
New Boom

Despite Low Employment, Millennials Hold Key To Reviving South Texas

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 12:02 pm

Olmo Maldonado (center) returned to his hometown of McAllen, Texas, despite the low employment rate for millennials.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

This story is part of the New Boom series on millennials in America.

Welcome to boot camp for the young and unemployed in McAllen, Texas.

"We're going to go ahead and do this," says instructor Marco Lopez, leading a small classroom of millennials through do's and don'ts for job seekers inside a strip mall near McAllen.

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5:09pm

Sat November 8, 2014
Code Switch

As GOP Swept Congress, Black Republicans Took Home Historic Wins

Originally published on Sat November 8, 2014 6:33 pm

Republican Mia Love celebrates with her supporters after winning the race for Utah's 4th Congressional District on Tuesday.
Rick Bowmer AP

The Republican Party made historic gains during this week's midterm elections. Among their victories were three wins by black Republicans, who seem to be building momentum for diversifying the GOP ranks.

Mia Love — who is Mormon and Haitian-American — is one of those three, and Republicans in Utah's 4th District will be sending her to Congress next year.

"Many of the naysayers out there said that Utah would never elect a black, Republican, LDS woman to Congress," Love told a crowd on Tuesday. "And guess what? Not only did we do it, we were the first to do it!"

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2:17pm

Sat November 1, 2014
The Two-Way

Investigation Of Deadly Spaceship Crash Begins In Mojave Desert

Originally published on Sat November 1, 2014 7:55 pm

Wreckage lies near the site where a Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo, crashed in Mojave, Calif., on Friday.
Ringo H.W. Chiu AP

More than a dozen investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board are on the ground in California's Mojave Desert to find out why a manned spaceship crashed on Friday.

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4:53am

Fri October 24, 2014
Code Switch

A Tale Of Asian Gangs Unleashed In 'Green Dragons' Film

Originally published on Sun November 30, 2014 5:40 pm

Paul Wong (Harry Shum, Jr.) leads the Green Dragons, a young, Asian-American gang that trafficked Chinese immigrants into the U.S. with help from the so-called "Snakehead Mama" (Eugenia Yuan).
Courtesy of A24 Films

Thousands of Chinese immigrants took to the seas in the 1980s and 1990s. Many stowed away on cargo ships, spending months on voyages to America organized by Chinese-American gangs in New York.

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4:33am

Wed October 22, 2014
Politics

Concern Over New-Voter Registration In Georgia Ahead Of Election

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 5:26 pm

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

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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7:01pm

Tue September 30, 2014
Code Switch

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

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 8:08 pm

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

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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4:12am

Wed September 17, 2014
Code Switch

'Breaking Bad' Fans Get Their Fix In Spanish

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 7:50 pm

In Metástasis, Diego Trujillo (center) plays Walter Blanco, a chemistry teacher who sells crystal meth with his former student José Miguel Rosas, played by Roberto Urbina.
Manuel Rodriguez UniMás

How do you remake the award-winning AMC series Breaking Bad in Spanish?

Well, all you need — as the show's chemistry teacher-turned-drug dealer, Walter White, might say — is "a little tweak of chemistry."

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