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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1:32pm

Fri May 8, 2015
Code Switch

The Slants Frontman Fights Government To Register His Band's Name

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 10:38 pm

Here's the band.
Sarah Giffrow The Slants

Editor's note: In 2013, we wrote about a band named The Slants and the legal battle over its name. As the saga continues, we check back in on what it means to the band's members — and what it could mean for trademark law.

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2:45pm

Fri May 1, 2015
Code Switch

Reaction To Baltimore Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby's Remarks

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 5:49 pm

Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore's prosecutor, announced criminal charges against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody.
Alex Brandon AP

Baltimore's lead prosecutor, Marilyn J. Mosby, announced on Friday that the death of Freddie Gray was a homicide. Mosby, who took office in January, is charging six city police officers with a range of offenses — including second-degree murder and manslaughter.

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4:38pm

Tue April 28, 2015
Code Switch

Virtual Readings For Baltimore's Freddie Gray

Originally published on Wed April 29, 2015 1:55 pm

A man rides a bicycle through heavy smoke from a fire at a nearby store on Monday during unrest following the funeral of Freddie Gray in Baltimore.
Patrick Semansky AP

Editor's note: This post contains some language that many will find offensive.

Lots of people are looking for words to make sense of Freddie Gray's death and the subsequent unrest in Baltimore, and have turned to writers — from novelist and social critic James Baldwin to hip hop artist Kendrick Lamar — for an assist. They're sharing these writers' words on social media, as screenshots in tweets, Instragrammed pictures of open books, and Photoshopped collages uploaded to Facebook.

Here are some of the virtual readings that stuck out to us — with context.

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2:06pm

Wed April 22, 2015
Code Switch

In Its Season Finale, 'Fresh Off The Boat' Is Still Wrestling With Authenticity

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 11:06 am

"Why are you dressed like Chun Li from Street Fighter?" Eddie asks his mom Jessica.
Fresh Off The Boat/ABC

Note: This piece contains spoilers.

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2:03pm

Mon April 20, 2015
Code Switch

George Takei And Company To Hollywood Gatekeepers: Fix Your Diversity Problem

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 11:54 am

Remember that Deadline article from a few weeks back? In which the writer pointed out that Hollywood is diversifying — and claimed that's a bad thing?

At least one good thing may come of it:

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4:48pm

Fri April 3, 2015
Code Switch

Way More College Students Are Studying Korean. Is 'Hallyu' The Reason?

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 6:12 pm

A recent study found that in general, college students aren't taking foreign language classes as much as they used to — a slowdown of nearly 7 percent since 2009. But for one language in particular, there's actually been a pretty amazing jump in the rate of enrollment: Korean.

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12:00pm

Thu March 26, 2015
Code Switch

Some Messy History Behind A Fight Over A Restaurant Called 'Chop Chop Chinaman'

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 2:02 pm

The logo of Chop Chop Chinaman restaurant sits on a window outside the dining area Thursday in Chicago.
Armando L. Sanchez Chicago Tribune/TNS/Landov

Over in Chicago, a restaurant called Chop Chop Chinaman has been getting a lot of heat for its name. In February, Chicago-area resident Jeannie Harrell was arrested for scrawling "F*** this hate crime s***. It's 2015" in lipstick on the restaurant's window, right next to the shop's decal sticker of a rickshaw and a man wearing a triangular hat.

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8:03am

Thu March 26, 2015
Code Switch

Why It's So Hard For Us To Agree About Dong From 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt'

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 10:35 am

The gesture Kimmy's making doesn't mean the same thing to Dong.
Eric Liebowitz Netflix

The very first time we encounter Dong Nguyen, one of several hotly debated characters in Tina Fey's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, he has just introduced himself to Kimmy in their GED class. And, as surely happens to Dong all the time, ever since he immigrated to New York from Vietnam, she's stifling a giggle over his name.

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1:22pm

Fri March 20, 2015
Code Switch

The Time A Cartoonist Was Told To 'Lighten Up' A Character

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 4:02 pm

Cartoonist Ronald Wimberly was told to "lighten up" a Mexican and African-American character.
Ronald Wimberly The Nib

In a beautifully illustrated comic over at The Nib, cartoonist Ronald Wimberly relays the story of working with an editor who asked him to lighten the skin tone of a character he was working on, Melita Garner, who has been described as Mexican and African-American, a reporter, and Wolverine's ex-girlfriend.

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4:47pm

Wed March 18, 2015
Code Switch

Starbucks Campaign Already Inspiring Awkward Conversations About Race

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 5:12 pm

"It's also interesting because I'm actually black, but you assumed otherwise," Jay Smooth told Nancy Giles.
MSNBC's All In With Chris Hayes

Starbucks' campaign to get people talking about race has already birthed a very public, very cringeworthy conversation about race. Jay Smooth, a radio DJ and video blogger, was on MSNBC's All In With Chris Hayes Tuesday night, discussing the coffee company's "Race Together" campaign with fellow guest Nancy Giles, a contributor to CBS Sunday Morning.

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