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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Around the Nation
2:46 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Award-Winning Poets Write For Passersby In New York

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 5:03 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In New York City, commuters traveling near ground zero today were greeted by an unusual sound - typewriters. And tapping away on them - poets writing verse on demand. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang stopped by to see some of them at work in lower Manhattan.

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Code Switch
1:40 am
Fri April 17, 2015

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

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

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 12:06 pm

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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Race
4:04 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Art From Japanese-American Internment Camps Saved From Auction Block

This watercolor scene at a mess hall in Wyoming's Heart Mountain internment camp was painted by Estelle Peck Ishigo, a white woman who voluntarily followed her Japanese-American husband into internment camps.
Courtesy of Rago Arts and Auction Center

Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 10:23 am

A collection of art and others artifacts related to the Japanese-American internment camps of World War II will not be sold to the highest bidder.

A New Jersey auction house was set to sell more than 400 items on Friday. But Rago Arts and Auction Center decided to withdraw the items on Wednesday after protests from descendants of internees who were wrongfully imprisoned by the U.S. government during the war.

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Code Switch
3:04 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

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

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

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 6:58 pm

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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NEWS
8:16 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

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

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

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 12:50 pm

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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Law
3:12 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Sen. Robert Menendez Indicted On Corruption Charges

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 6:00 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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U.S.
1:34 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Immigrants Worry They'll Face Deportation After Deferred Action Delay

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

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 1:21 pm

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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Code Switch
3:14 am
Sat February 21, 2015

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

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

Originally published on Sat February 21, 2015 9:06 pm

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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Code Switch
3:00 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Whatever Floats Your Goat: The 2015 Lunar New Year Animal Is Up For Debate

Will the real 2015 animal please stand up?
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 7:50 pm

Many East Asian cultures use zodiac animals to symbolize each New Year and predict a person's fortunes. But which animal represents 2015 is up for debate.

You may have seen goat, sheep or ram as the English translation for this year's animal according to the Chinese zodiac — yang, in Mandarin. All of them are correct, says Lala Zuo, a Chinese language and culture professor at the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland.

"I don't think there's a wrong translation," she says. "I think there are various ways of translation. It really depends on the context."

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Around the Nation
2:07 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Judge's Decision Leaves Immigrants In Legal Limbo

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

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 5:08 pm

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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Around the Nation
4:45 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

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

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

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 9:39 am

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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Code Switch
3:05 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

University Re-Imagines Town And Gown Relationship In Philadelphia

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

Originally published on Mon February 2, 2015 3:40 am

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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Code Switch
2:59 pm
Sun January 18, 2015

Broken Promises On Display At Native American Treaties Exhibit

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

Originally published on Sun January 18, 2015 3:33 pm

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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Around the Nation
2:18 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

New York City ID Could Open Up Doors — And Privacy Concerns

Veronica Ramirez holds her 15-month-old son, Lora, as she waits in line Monday to apply for a new municipal identification card at the Bronx Library Center in New York.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 4:41 pm

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio made a pitch for a piece of plastic on Monday — a new ID card for New York City residents, regardless of immigration status.

"One piece of plastic, but it's going to open so many doors for our fellow New Yorkers. It's going to make their lives better," de Blasio said.

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Law
2:38 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

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

Originally published on Thu January 1, 2015 8:34 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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New Boom
1:55 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Despite Low Employment, Millennials Hold Key To Reviving South Texas

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

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 10:02 am

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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Code Switch
3:09 pm
Sat November 8, 2014

As GOP Swept Congress, Black Republicans Took Home Historic Wins

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

Originally published on Sat November 8, 2014 4:33 pm

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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The Two-Way
12:17 pm
Sat November 1, 2014

Investigation Of Deadly Spaceship Crash Begins In Mojave Desert

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

Originally published on Sat November 1, 2014 5:55 pm

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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Code Switch
2:53 am
Fri October 24, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Sun November 30, 2014 3:40 pm

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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Politics
2:33 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 3:26 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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