Minneapolis event: Film and discussion of adoption, migration, identity

I’m on my first panel in Minnesota and looking forward to it! It’s a screening of a documentary called “You Follow,” a documentary about adoption and identity. It will be followed by a panel discussion of the film as well as migration and culture. I’m looking forward to getting to know this very dynamic group […]

Personalities in the #IranDeal

The historic agreement with Iran announced Tuesday took 20 months of talks and involved many players. Sure, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif played a central role, but there were many others who really made the deal come together. Iran agreed to reduce its nuclear capability for the next 10 years in […]

Battling Trolls, Fears, and Other Things that Make Us Not Want to Talk about Immigration

I’ll be at Yale University on November 11 to give a talk and discussion in American Studies. It’s been two years since I’ve joined Public Radio International to build digital content and find ways to use social media to make news better. On a macro-level, I’ve grown a large network of people who use Twitter […]

Is Obama really the ‘Deporter-in-Chief’?

For Prerna Lal, how deportation data is parsed and explained is personal. She was once an undocumented immigrant herself, and for her, the deportation statistics represent people’s lives. “There’s political motivations behind the numbers game,” says Lal. “We can cut the numbers either way, but the fact remains that the actual number of deportations is 2 […]

“We have no ‘Tio Warbucks'”

Here’s how many entrepreneurs start their companies: They begin by financing themselves, burning through savings or working for little pay. Then they go to friends and families for small investments to get up and running. Their third and fourth rounds of funding often come from angel investors or venture capitalists. It’s called boot-strapping and it’s […]

On hiya (shame) and balut (duck embryo)

Much to think about from this interview I had with Filipnia restaurateur Nicole Ponseca. Why do immigrants in the United States feel so strongly about their cuisines?     One of the most visible ways that cultures mingle in America is through food. So it’s no wonder that when PRI’s The World asked, as part […]

US Ends Trade Privileges to Bangladesh Following Garment Factory Disasters

President Barack Obama announced Thursday that the US will end trade privileges with Bangladesh over concerns for safety and working conditions in factories. The US will suspend Bangladesh from the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which will increase tariffs on certain goods. The move, in response to recent garment factory disasters, will not directly affect the garment […]

24 companies sign on to major safety agreement for Bangladesh clothing factories

Twnety-four major clothing retailers have now committed to a safety accord for garment factories in Bangladesh. More than 1,100 garment workers were killed when the Rana Plaza factory collapsed outside of Dhaka last month and hundreds of factories were closed Monday across Bangladesh amid workers’ unrest over safety concerns. H&M, Inditex, C&A, Primark, and Tesco […]

My $10 T-Shirt: A Conversation about Ethical Fashion

The death toll of the April 24 collapse of a garment factory outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, has passed 1,000 people, making it the worst industrial accident since the 1984 gas leak at a Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant in Bhopal. The Rana Plaza complex collapsed just one day after an engineer declared it unsafe. Britain’s […]

Publication Day for Chinese Characters

Today is publication day for Chinese Characters! The first shipments via Amazon have reached readers and the book is now easily available to anyone. We’ve got a lot going on, including East (New York City) and West (Los Angeles) Coast book launches and talks and seminars in China, Boston, Philadelphia and around Southern California. Please do […]