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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2:39pm

Thu March 5, 2015
Code Switch

Study: At 'Rate My Professors,' A Foreign Accent Can Hurt A Teacher's Score

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 7:21 pm

The biggest gaps overall were in the South.
Kat Chow/NPR

"So-and-so is really, really hard to understand." Or: "His accent is so distracting." I remember hearing off-the-cuff remarks like this a few times in college, complaints by classmates about teaching assistants and instructors, almost all of them of Asian descent and non-native English speakers.

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9:50am

Wed March 4, 2015
Code Switch

Rapper Jin Tries To Stretch His '15 Minutes' Of Fame

Jin poses for a photograph during an interview with the AP in Hong Kong in 2008.
Jerome Favre AP

10:03am

Sat February 28, 2015
Code Switch

A 'Show Boat' With An Asian-American Cast Hits The Rocks

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 1:45 pm

A heads-up to our readers: This post quotes a racial slur.

When actress Erin Quill saw a casting notice earlier this month for a Show Boat musical revival with a completely Asian-American cast, she raised an eyebrow.

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1:41pm

Wed February 25, 2015
Code Switch

African Emoji CEO: Apple 'Missed The Whole Point' With Its Diverse Emojis

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 7:23 pm

Here's a set of Afro-centric emoticons that Oju Africa's CEO thinks trumps Apple's new diverse emojis.
OjuAfrica.com

Alpesh Patel, the CEO of African-based emoji company Oju Africa, thinks Apple missed the mark with its new set of iPhone emoji options, which offers more skin-tone options than before.

"Look at their new emoticons — it's all about skin colour," he told Vice's Motherboard. "Diversity is not about skin colour — it's about embracing the multiple cultures out there that have no digital representation."

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4:47pm

Tue February 24, 2015
Code Switch

Here's Where Emoji Skin-Tone Colors Come From

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 8:14 pm

Here are the latest set of emoji.
AP

In emoji news (one of my favorite types of weird news, ever): Apple this week released a beta operating system to its testers that finally includes noticeably browner — and, um, yellower — choices.

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4:20pm

Thu February 19, 2015
Code Switch

Oscars Voter Says 'Selma' Cast's 'I Can't Breathe' Tees Were 'Offensive'

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 7:18 pm

A scene from Selma.
Atsushi Nishijima Paramount Pictures

The Hollywood Reporter is doing a series of interviews with voting members of the academy, the folks who decide who gets an Oscar. Yesterday's (anonymous) interviewee had this to say about why Selma didn't get a nod:

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4:08pm

Wed February 18, 2015
Code Switch

After a Racial Attack, A South Philly School Tries to Heal

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 4:21 pm

Duong Nghe Ly, center, at a news conference in 2011, in which Asian and community leaders discussed a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into a series of racial attacks, in Philadelphia.
Matt Rourke AP

In December 2009, 30 students at a high school in South Philadelphia, mostly recent Asian immigrants, were beaten up at school by their peers. Several had to be hospitalized.

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4:24pm

Tue February 17, 2015
Code Switch

Some Thoughtful Words — And Many Unanswered Questions — After Chapel Hill

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 6:49 pm

Kheira Benkreira and Hasnia Bekkadja attend a vigil for the slain Chapel Hill victims in Washington, D.C., last week.
Win McNamee Getty Images

2:12pm

Thu February 12, 2015
Code Switch

'Community' Actor Ken Jeong Might Be Getting His Own Show

There's more good news in Asian-American TV land.

ABC recently greenlighted a pilot starring Ken Jeong, best known as quirky Spanish language teacher Señor Chang in Community, also The Hangover villain Mr. Chow. Jeong, who worked as a doctor for seven years before turning to acting, will play a frustrated MD who's struggling to keep the rest of his life afloat.

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12:10pm

Wed February 11, 2015
Code Switch

One Of The Chapel Hill Victims Was Raising Funds To Help Syrian Refugees

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 3:28 pm

Yusor Mohammad, 21, and Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, were shot and killed on Tuesday evening in North Carolina. The couple married last December.
Courtesy of Our Three Winners

On Tuesday night, three young Muslims were shot dead near the University of North Carolina's Chapel Hill campus.

From member station WUNC:

"46-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks has been charged with 3 counts of 1st Degree Murder for the murders of Deah Barakat, a second-year student [at UNC] in the School of Dentistry and his wife, Yusor, who had planned to begin her dental studies here in the fall. Her sister, Razan, a student at NC State University, was also killed."

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