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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5:23pm

Fri June 14, 2013
Code Switch

11-Year-Old Keeps Singing In Face Of Hate

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 7:59 pm

Sebastien de la Cruz gave an encore performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" before the NBA Finals game on Thursday.
David J. Phillip AP

It's not often an 11-year-old boy gets to sing the national anthem twice during the NBA Finals.

But, as our friends at The Two-Way reported, it's been a surprising week for Sebastien de la Cruz of San Antonio.

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9:52am

Thu June 13, 2013
Code Switch

Census Shows Continued Change In America's Racial Makeup

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 2:21 pm

Thursday's data comes from a set of annual population estimates released by the Census Bureau.
iStockPhoto

Asian-Americans were the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group in America, now comprising almost 19 million people, according to data released Thursday by the Census Bureau.

And the state with the fastest-growing Asian population? South Dakota. Home to Mount Rushmore, Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little Town on the Prairie," and now Kharka Khapangi — a Bhutanese refugee who moved from the state of Washington to Sioux Falls, S.D., in 2011.

"It's easy to find a job here in South Dakota, so people from other states, they are also moving here," Khapangi said.

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7:22am

Sat June 8, 2013
Code Switch

Puerto Rican Flags Wave To New York's Parade-Goers

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 7:20 am

Longtime East Harlem resident Johnny Montanez, 53, says he sells Puerto Rican flags and T-shirts a few doors down from his apartment building to show that Puerto Ricans are "still here."
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

Marching bands, beauty queens and Chita Rivera are set to make their way down New York City's Fifth Avenue on Sunday for the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade.

With 80,000 marchers and 2 million onlookers, the event is one of the country's biggest ethnic celebrations.

In the run-up to the parade, rows of street vendors have lined up north of the parade route, in New York's East Harlem neighborhood — also known as Spanish Harlem for the wave of Puerto Ricans that settled here after World War II.

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9:05am

Thu May 30, 2013
Code Switch

Arab-Americans: A 'Growing' Community, But By How Much?

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 9:53 am

Arab-Americans join in a traditional dance during the sixth annual Arab-American Heritage Festival in Brooklyn in 2011.
Robert Nickelsberg Getty Images

One-and-a-half million Americans today claim Arab ancestry, according to a new Census Bureau report.

That's less than 1 percent of the total U.S. population.

Still, Maryam Asi, a demographer at the Census Bureau who co-wrote the report, says the Arab-American community is "growing," with a 76 percent increase since 1990 and 25 percent increase since 2000.

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5:01am

Tue May 28, 2013
Around the Nation

Okla. Real Estate: Priced To Sell Includes Storm Shelter

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 7:58 am

After last week's deadly tornado in Moore, Okla,, hundreds of homes were damaged. Maurice Smith is optimistic about the future in Moore. So much so, he is planning to build a new home and sell the old one without an agent. And he expects it will be snapped up quickly. The reason? Displaced residents are looking for homes, and his has a storm shelter.

4:08pm

Sun May 26, 2013
Code Switch

'Part Of The Community': Latinos Rebuild After Okla. Tornado

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 8:29 pm

Mynor Sanchez, a resident of Moore, Okla., lives a few blocks away and three houses down from major destruction. He is volunteering Friday in the neighborhood with his church, Templo El Alabanza, trying to do any tasks with which residents need help.
Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Pastor Chano Najera calls out T-shirt sizes in Spanglish to volunteers waiting for their uniforms.

It's easy to spot Najera in this crowd — just look for the cowboy hat. He preaches in Spanish at Templo De Alabanza in Oklahoma City. On this morning, though, he's wrangling a group of young Latino volunteers as they wheel cases of water bottles onto trucks headed for Moore, Okla., where an EF-5 tornado ripped through neighborhoods last week, but spared Najera's home.

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8:01am

Fri May 24, 2013
The Deadly Tornado In Moore, Okla.

Tornado's Survival Rate 'Not Just Luck,' Meteorologist Says

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 9:58 am

Marc Austin monitors radar and issues warnings at the National Weather Center in Norman, Okla., on Thursday.
Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Monday's tornado in Moore, Okla., killed 24 people and caused an estimated $2.2 billion worth of damage. As the community reflects on what happened, one question is: How did so many manage to survive such devastating destruction?

Lifelong Oklahoman Kristi Freeman has seen her share of tornadoes, but she says the twister that tore through her neighborhood Monday was something else.

"This tornado was like a monster. It was like something that was alive. It destroyed your peace, your comfort," she says.

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3:40pm

Wed May 15, 2013
Code Switch

Immigrants To Be Largest Driver Of U.S. Population Growth

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 9:56 am

Immigrants take the U.S. oath of citizenship during a naturalization ceremony in Irving, Texas.
LM Otero AP

New immigrants will be the main driver of population growth in the U.S. by as early as 2027, according to new Census Bureau projections.

This would be the first time in almost two centuries that new births will not be the largest source of U.S. population growth.

The Census Bureau says its projections show a combination of declining fertility rates, aging baby boomers and ongoing immigration to the United States.

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4:49am

Tue May 14, 2013
Education

Latino High School Grads Enter College At Record Rate

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 5:46 pm

Jackeline Lizama (front) plans to attend a local community college after she graduates next month from her high school in Silver Spring, Md.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

If the headline caught your eye, here's more good news.

Seven in 10 Latino high school graduates in the class of 2012 went to college, according to a recent report by the Pew Hispanic Center.

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5:18pm

Fri May 3, 2013
Code Switch

Bollywood's Early Roots In A Silent Film

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 10:35 am

Dhundiraj Govind Phalke (left), known as the father of Indian cinema, examines a filmstrip.
The Kobal Collection

Film festivals around the world are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Indian films this year.

Bollywood today is well known for its over-the-top song-and-dance numbers. (Case in point: In the 1998 Hindi film Dil Se, a troupe of dancers gyrate in unison to a love song on top of a moving train.)

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3:33pm

Wed April 24, 2013
Code Switch

Home Sweet Home Costs More For Blacks And Latinos

A "sold" sign is posted outside a home in Carmel, Ind. Black and Latino homebuyers pay about 3.5 percent more for housing than whites and Asians, according to a study released this week by Duke University.
Michael Conroy AP

Black and Latino homebuyers pay more for housing than whites and Asians, according to a study released this week by Duke University. The price difference is about 3.5 percent.

That may not sound like a lot. But Patrick Bayer, a Duke economics professor who led the study, says when you do the math, that percentage can translate to about $5,000 or $10,000 per housing sale.

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6:07pm

Tue April 23, 2013
Around the Nation

Thousands Have Applied For 'Deferred Action' Program

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 8:05 am

Young people wait in line to enter the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles office on the first day of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in August.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

As Congress continues its debate over immigration reform, nearly a half-million young people who are in the U.S. illegally have already applied for deferred action.

The Obama administration started the policy, formally known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, last year for people who were brought into the U.S. illegally as children. Those who are approved gain the right to work or study and avoid deportation for two years.

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