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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Code Switch
10:46 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Halloween And Blackface: Same Story, Different Year

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

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 11:26 am

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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Code Switch
4:14 am
Sun October 20, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 8:08 am

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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Code Switch
10:21 am
Thu October 17, 2013

A Photographer Turns Her Lens On Men Who Catcall

"Untitled."
Courtesy of Hannah Price

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 2:20 pm

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Code Switch
9:54 am
Mon September 16, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 10:06 am

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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Code Switch
11:15 am
Tue July 23, 2013

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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Code Switch
2:55 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Do Racing Snails Drive Racial Stereotypes In 'Turbo'?

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

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 8:03 am

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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Code Switch
9:07 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Dueling Stereotypes: Bad Asian Drivers, Good At Everything

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

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 2:09 pm

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Code Switch
4:30 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Experience The Legacy Of The Civil Rights Movement In Song

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

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 6:50 pm

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Code Switch
7:00 am
Thu June 20, 2013

For Black Americans, An Even Split In Financial Perceptions

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

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 9:07 am

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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Code Switch
5:03 am
Wed June 12, 2013

@TodayIn1963 Captures Moments From A Historic Summer

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

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 2:21 pm

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

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Code Switch
8:41 am
Sat June 1, 2013

Haters Gonna Hate, As Shown On A Map

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 12:36 pm

Note: This post contains strong language, including racial and ethnic slurs.

Geography professor Monica Stephens has spent a lot of time putting haters on the map. Over at Humboldt State University in California where she is a professor, Stephens and a team of undergraduate students spent a year sorting through racial slurs on Twitter by location. And then she mapped them.

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Code Switch
2:47 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

The Questions People Get Asked About Their Race

How do you respond to questions about your culture or race?
Ariel Skelley Corbis

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 8:58 am

Since Code Switch launched, friends and people on Twitter have been sharing examples of questions they've been asked about their race or culture that they've found interesting, awkward or just plain offensive.

We were intrigued when we saw this question posted on AskReddit: "What's one question you've been dying to ask another race but never do because of the impending 'THAT'S RACIST' aftermath?"

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