Hansi Lo Wang

Hansi Lo Wang is a national reporter based at NPR's New York bureau. He covers issues and events in the Northeast.

In 2016, his reporting after the church shooting in Charleston, S.C., won a Salute to Excellence National Media Award from the National Association of Black Journalists. He was also part of NPR's award-winning coverage of Pope Francis' tour of the U.S. His profile of a white member of a Boston Chinatown gang won a National Journalism Award from the Asian American Journalists Association in 2014.

Since joining NPR in 2010 as a Kroc Fellow, he's contributed to NPR's breaking news coverage of the Orlando nightclub shooting, protests in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray, and the trial of George Zimmerman in Florida.

Wang previously reported on race, ethnicity, and culture for NPR's Code Switch team. He has also reported for Seattle public radio station KUOW and worked behind the scenes of NPR's Weekend Edition as a production assistant.

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.

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. "It's a victory! We have been fighting, and today we have made history," said Alvin Major, a 49-year-old cook at a KFC restaurant in Brooklyn. He said a $15 minimum...

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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: A former giant in the supermarket industry has taken another fall. The supermarket chain A&P, once known as the great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, has filed for bankruptcy for the second time in five years. This time, A&P has agreed to sell more than 100 stores. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang has more. HANSI LO WANG, BYLINE: It's an American brand with roots going back before the Civil War with history its...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ARUN RATH, HOST: Theodore Roosevelt is revered by environmentalists today as a bold pioneer. As president, he set aside millions of acres of federal land to be preserved. But the house where he lived before and after his presidency wasn't preserved so well. It recently reopened after a three-year restoration. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang went for a visit. HANSI LO WANG, BYLINE: President Theodore Roosevelt made his name in big...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: Today for the last time, soldiers - toy soldiers - opened the doors of a New York City icon. UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Are you ready to do it one more time? (APPLAUSE) MAN: Guys, come on in. Welcome to FAO. (APPLAUSE) SIEGEL: People young and old streamed into FAO - FAO Schwarz, a store very often referred to as FAO Schwarts (ph). It's closing its doors today after almost 30 years in its current location on...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: Just under $6 million. That's how much New York City has agreed to pay to settle a lawsuit brought by the family of Eric Garner. The settlement comes almost a year after Eric Garner died after police placed him in a chokehold during an arrest. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang reports. HANSI LO WANG, BYLINE: There was no indictment by a grand jury after Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, died in police custody last...

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." It was the first time she had...

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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. "[Flame] makes soot , and it makes deposits of various chemicals that are not too good for us. The last thing you really want to see licking at your food while it's on a grill is an actual flame," says Brown, who is...

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. Liang was indicted for shooting and killing an unarmed black man in a stairwell in Brooklyn, N.Y., last November . He's expected to appear in court Thursday for a pre-trial hearing. The issue of race came up minutes after Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson announced Liang's...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: New York's nail salons are under a microscope after an investigation by The New York Times. A report found that many workers are overworked, underpaid and exposed to dangerous chemicals. Today Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a crackdown on these poor working conditions. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang reports. HANSI LO WANG, BYLINE: Dozens of inspectors will be making rounds to some of the thousands of nail salons...

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. Just a few blocks away from the center of Baltimore's unrest last month, William Scipio, 49, recently stopped by Ames Memorial United Methodist Church...

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. BOB HOLMAN: Ready, bring them on over; here we go. HANSI LO WANG, BYLINE: Poet Bob Holman is meeting commuters any which way they came. HOLMAN: So it looks...

You can find food from just about any part of the world in New York City. The Brooklyn Brewery is trying to push New Yorkers' palates even further by going back in time. This week, it hosted a dinner party inspired by the local cuisine of Dutch settlers and Native Americans in the 1650s. Back when New York wasn't even New York yet, and before the English took over in 1664, the Dutch called the city New Amsterdam. "New Amsterdam tastes like salt pork," said head chef Andrew Gerson. "It tastes...

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. Inspired by the recent deaths of unarmed black men by police , a theater company in Brooklyn, N.Y., is staging a series of new readings of these plays , including Georgia Douglas Johnson's Blue-Eyed Black Boy. "It's not a play where we re-enact a lynching. The...

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. Japanese-American families had donated many of the pieces to Allen Eaton, an...

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." The son of a cook from South Carolina and a domestic worker from Virginia, Lawrence was born in Atlantic City in 1917, but...

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. For eyewitnesses of police activity, the law is crystal clear, according to Mark Graber, who teaches constitutional law at the University of Maryland: "You can film police on...

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) SENATOR ROBERT MENENDEZ: I fight for issues I believe in, the people I represent and for the safety and security of this country every single day. That's who I am, and I am proud of what I have...

The animals were getting lost in the forest — so the story goes. A year after Walt Disney made history with the release of his studio's first feature-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs , his artists were struggling to find the right design for the woodland backgrounds of Bambi , the coming-of-age tale of a young deer . "They were trying to do too much detail," explains Michael Labrie, director of collections and exhibitions at The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco....

When you're walking around New York City, you probably won't find people looking up. Even the majestic main concourse of Grand Central Terminal can rarely stop a native New Yorker in her tracks. But, tourists like Lidize Mora from Las Vegas are a different story. "I love it! It feels like a palace. I can imagine people having a wedding here," she exclaims, gazing at the marble staircases under a cerulean-blue ceiling of the Beaux Arts-style building. But a new multimedia exhibit at the Museum...

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. Many of these parents of U.S. citizens and green-card holders are worried that the government will now force them to leave the U.S. The lack of legal clarity also means some of them are being treated inconsistently by government officials. Wilfredis Ayala, a construction worker from El Salvador,...

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. "Family members would get together in a new set of hanbok and bow to each other in a traditional way, wishing good health and fortune," explains Minjee Kim, a costume historian who has studied...

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...

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. Lauren Burke, an immigration attorney who co-founded the New York nonprofit Atlas: DIY, made a home visit last week to go over documents with 22-year-old Madina Tagasheva, a new mother of a baby boy living in Port Chester, N.Y....

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. You may have...

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...

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. A rare exhibit of such treaties at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., looks back at this history. It currently features one of the first compacts between the U.S. and Native American nations – the Treaty of Canandaigua...

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. New Yorkers 14 and older can now join the largest municipal identification program in the country. De Blasio said renting an apartment, opening a bank account and entering a school...

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. HANSI LO WANG, BYLINE: In California, a chicken cage law has hatched this new year. PAUL SHAPIRO: This is an earthquake throughout both the egg industry and throughout the entirety of animal agribusiness. WANG:...

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