Kat Chow

Kat Chow is a journalist covering race, ethnicity, and culture for NPR's new Code Switch team. In this role, Chow is responsible for reporting and telling stories using social media, sparking conversations online, and blogging.

Prior to coming to NPR, Chow worked with WGBH in Boston and was a reporting fellow for The Cambodia Daily, an English-language newspaper in Phnom Penh.

While a student at the University of Washington in Seattle, Chow was a founding member of a newsmagazine television show and freelanced for the Seattle Weekly. She also interned with the Seattle Times and worked on NBC's Winter Olympics coverage in Vancouver, B.C. You can find her tweeting away for Code Switch at @NPRCodeSwitch, and sharing her thoughts at @katchow.

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11:13am

Wed November 13, 2013
Code Switch

A Windfall For A New Jersey Man And The Dominican Republic

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 3:50 pm

Pedro Quezada, the winner of a $338 million Powerball jackpot, sent $57 million of his winnings to the Dominican Republic, according to his lawyer.
Julio Cortez AP

Pedro Quezada, winner of a $338 million Powerball lottery prize in March 2013, is being sued by his ex-girlfriend for a greater share of the winnings. In the course of the legal proceedings, Quezada's lawyer made public an interesting tidbit: Quezada has sent a whopping $57 million to the Dominican Republic. It's a high-profile and big-ticket example of an everyday phenomenon where immigrants to the U.S. send a total of billions and billions of dollars back to their country of origin.

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1:54pm

Mon November 4, 2013
Code Switch

Author Catherine Chung: 'I Want To Embrace The Things That I Am'

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 3:50 pm

Catherine Chung's first novel, Forgotten Country, was an honorable mention for a PEN/Hemingway Award.
Ayano Hisa Courtesy of Catherine Chung

Catherine Chung went from mathematics to writing, though she says words were always her first love. She was named one of Granta's New Voices in 2010, and her first novel, Forgotten Country, received honorable mention for a PEN/Hemingway Award last year.

In Forgotten Country, Chung writes of a family with a curse that stretches back generations — from their time in Korea to their life in America. Since the Japanese occupation of Korea, each generation of the family has lost a daughter.

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11:32am

Thu October 31, 2013
Code Switch

Halloween And Blackface: Same Story, Different Year

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 12:26 pm

Halloween: The day people think it's OK to dress in stereotypical garb.
adrigu Flickr

Halloween is — uh, how do you say? — high season for writing about race and culture. The list of celebrities, stores and college freshmen sporting racist costumes — plus the inevitable backlash — means these stories practically write themselves.

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5:14am

Sun October 20, 2013
Code Switch

Asian-American Band Fights To Trademark Name 'The Slants'

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 9:08 am

The Slants' band members are all of Asian descent.
Courtesy of The Slants

The Slants, a six-member band from Portland, Ore., calls their sound "Chinatown Dance Rock" — a little bit New Order, a little bit Depeche Mode. They describe themselves as one of the first Asian-American rock bands. Their music caters to an Asian-American crowd, they've spoken at various Asian-American events, and they're proud of all of it.

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11:11am

Thu October 17, 2013
Code Switch

A Photographer Turns Her Lens On Men Who Catcall

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 3:20 pm

"Untitled."
Courtesy of Hannah Price

6:03am

Sun September 29, 2013
Code Switch

Studying How The Blind Perceive Race

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 2:55 pm

A biopic about the musician Ray Charles, who became completely blind by age 7, inspired Osagie Obasogie to research how blind people 'see' race.
AP

Law professor Osagie Obasogie walked into a movie theater to see "Ray," a biopic about the musician Ray Charles, and walked out with a question that would drive eight years worth of research.

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10:54am

Mon September 16, 2013
Code Switch

Why Do We Describe Asian Eyes As 'Almond-Shaped'?

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 11:06 am

The shape of Asian eyes has been compared to almonds by Westerners for centuries.
iStockphoto.com

Last week, Julie Chen revealed on The Talk that she had double eyelid surgery to make her eyes look "less Chinese" in order to advance her TV career.

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4:15pm

Tue September 3, 2013
Code Switch

The Wondrous, Melancholy Worlds Of Hayao Miyazaki

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 2:44 pm

Hayao Miyazaki's film My Neighbor Totoro features the young sisters Mei and Satsuki, seen here sitting next to the whimsical and outsized Totoro.
The Kobal Collection/Tokuma Enterprises

The revered Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, 72, announced this weekend at the Venice Film Festival that he's retiring from making full-length feature films. (He previously went into "semi-retirement" after directing Princess Mononoke in 1997.)

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2:43pm

Fri August 2, 2013
Code Switch

Research Says: Actually, Where You Go To College Matters

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 10:08 pm

There are lots of questions for high school grads: Should you go for an associate degree or a bachelor's? A community college or a four-year university? Does it really matter where you go? If we're comparing top-tier schools with open-access ones, then yes. It matters a whole lot, and it has long-lasting effects.

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12:15pm

Tue July 23, 2013
Code Switch

Your More/Less Ethnic-Sounding Name

Earlier this week, the Code Switch team got a note from a publicist named Hector Andres Silva who said he had some news to share.

Silva was ditching his nickname, "Andy," which he'd been using for two decades. Silva grew up in South America (his parents are Mexican and Colombian) and moved to Alexandria, Va., when he was 7.

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3:55am

Sat July 20, 2013
Code Switch

Do Racing Snails Drive Racial Stereotypes In 'Turbo'?

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 9:03 am

Actor Michael Pena voices Turbo's human friend Tito, an ambitious character whose outlandish dreams don't seem to sync up with his brother's vision for their food truck and stand, Dos Bros Tacos.
DreamWorks Animation

After seeing the animated movie Turbo, Code Switch's Karen Grigsby Bates and Kat Chow reflect on the movie's attempt at showing diversity.

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10:07am

Thu July 11, 2013
Code Switch

Dueling Stereotypes: Bad Asian Drivers, Good At Everything

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 3:09 pm

Asians are bad drivers but can navigate roundabouts like this one in Shanghai, eh?
Tauno Tõhk via Flickr

4:55pm

Tue July 9, 2013
Code Switch

Experience The Legacy Of The Civil Rights Movement In Song

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 7:50 pm

Nina Simone was one of the voices that helped shape the civil rights movement.
AP

8:00am

Thu June 20, 2013
Code Switch

For Black Americans, An Even Split In Financial Perceptions

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 10:07 am

If our survey is any indication, this cash-rich stock photo model probably feels pretty good about life.
Willie B.Thomas iStockphoto.com

NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health recently polled 1,081 African-Americans about their lives. One of the areas respondents were asked about was their perceptions of their financial status.

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6:03am

Wed June 12, 2013
Code Switch

@TodayIn1963 Captures Moments From A Historic Summer

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 3:21 pm

Gov. Wallace promises to block black students from enrolling at the University of Alabama while Nicholas Katzenbach, deputy attorney general of the United States listens.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

You might notice a bit of history peppered throughout your Twitter feed over the next few months.

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