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
7:03 am
Sun September 29, 2013

Studying How The Blind Perceive Race

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

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 3:55 pm

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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Code Switch
12:06 pm
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

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
5:15 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

The Wondrous, Melancholy Worlds Of Hayao Miyazaki

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

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:44 pm

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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Code Switch
3:43 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Research Says: Actually, Where You Go To College Matters

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 11:08 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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Code Switch
1:15 pm
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
4:55 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 10:03 am

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Code Switch
11:07 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 4:09 pm

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Code Switch
6:30 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 8:50 pm

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Code Switch
9:00 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 11:07 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
7:03 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 4:21 pm

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

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Code Switch
10:41 am
Sat June 1, 2013

Haters Gonna Hate, As Shown On A Map

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 2:36 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
5:05 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 10:58 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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Code Switch
4:29 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Former GOP Hispanic Outreach Director Now A Democrat

iStock
iStock

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 9:34 am

The Republican National Committee's former Hispanic Outreach Director in Florida, Pablo Pantoja, announced Monday that he's switching parties.

Pantoja explained his decision to become a Democrat in an e-mail that was first published by the Florida Nation.

"It doesn't take much to see the culture of intolerance surrounding the Republican Party today. I have wondered before about the seemingly harsh undertones about immigrants and others," Pantoja said.

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Code Switch
9:03 am
Sat May 11, 2013

'Seeking Asian Female' Takes A Close Look At A Fetish

Filmmaker Debbie Lum poses with Steven and Sandy, her documentary subjects, on their wedding day.
Susan Munroe Seeking Asian Female

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 4:49 pm

It's hard to watch Seeking Asian Female, Debbie Lum's uncomfortably close look at the phenomenon some call "yellow fever" — when usually non-Asian men fetishize Asian women as romantic or sexual partners — without squirming. And at first, it seems like it wasn't so easy for Lum to document the phenomenon.

"I had to fight the urge to turn around and leave," Lum says in a voiceover, right before she meets the character we know only as "Steven" for the first time. She told me this guy had one of the "worst cases of yellow fever" she has seen.

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Code Switch
12:06 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Neighbor In The Ohio Kidnapping and Rescue Case Goes Viral

Charles Ramsey, who responded to shouts for help and triggered the rescue of three kidnapped women, talks to reporters.
Scott Shaw The Plain Dealer/Landov

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 3:46 pm

We'd like to hear your thoughts as this story about Charles Ramsey and the Ohio kidnapping and rescue case develops. There are many implications about race and class. What are you most curious about?

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Code Switch
2:44 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

On Celebrating 'Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month'

Reps. Bobby Scott of Virginia, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Judy Chu of California pose with President Obama in 2010, during a reception to celebrate Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.
Pool Getty Images

Today marks the start of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, which you may or may not have known.

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