NPR logo About The Code Switch Team

About The Code Switch Team

From left to right: Adrian Florido, Shereen Marisol Meraji, Gene Demby, Kat Chow, Tasneem Raja, Alicia Montgomery, Karen Grigbsy Bates, Walter Ray Watson, Leah Donnella

From left to right: Adrian Florido, Shereen Marisol Meraji, Gene Demby, Kat Chow, Tasneem Raja, Alicia Montgomery, Karen Grigbsy Bates, Walter Ray Watson, Leah Donnella Matt Roth/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Matt Roth/NPR

Remember when folks used to talk about being "post-racial"? Well, we're definitely not that. We're a team of journalists fascinated by the overlapping themes of race, ethnicity and culture, how they play out in our lives and communities, and how all of this is shifting. Here's some more information about us:

Kat Chow

Kat Chow's role on the team includes reporting and telling stories using social media, sparking conversations online and blogging.

She previously 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, she was a founding member of a newsmagazine television show and freelanced for the Seattle Weekly. She also interned with the Seattle Times, KOMO News,, Comcast and worked on NBC's Winter Olympics coverage in Vancouver, B.C.

You can read Kat's stories here, and follow her on Twitter at @katchow.

Gene Demby

Gene Demby is the team's lead blogger.

Before coming to NPR, he served as the editor and later covered politics for Huffington Post BlackVoices. He spent six years in various roles at The New York Times.

While working for the Times in 2007, he started a blog about race, culture, politics and media called PostBourgie, which won the 2009 Black Weblog Award for Best News/Politics Site.

He's an avid runner, mainly because he wants to stay alive long enough to finally see the Sixers and Eagles win championships in their respective sports.

You can read Gene's stories here, and follow him on Twitter at @geedee215.

Adrian Florido

Adrian Florido comes to Code Switch from member station KPCC in Los Angeles, where he covered public and community health. Before that, he was the border reporter at KPBS in San Diego, where he worked on the Fronteras Desk covering news from the Southwest. He's reported on the US-Mexico border and Tijuana, immigrant and tribal communities, and demographics and culture. He began his journalism career at the Voice of San Diego, where he reported on neighborhoods.

Adrian is a Southern California native who earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago. He's a runner and a lover of good coffee and great music. He also has a love of Son Jarocho, a traditional music from the Mexican state of Veracruz. He travels there as often as possible to learn from master musicians.

You can read Adrian's stories here, and follow him on Twitter at @adrianflorido.

Karen Grigsby Bates

Karen Grigsby Bates comes to the team after a year covering race, ethnicity and socio-cultural change for the network. Some of those stories included in-depth profiles of public intellectual Cornel West and civil rights lawyer Connie Rice; a look at Los Angeles' Korean American community 20 years after the LA Riots, and a piece on how Vietnamese Americans came to dominate the affordable manicure industry. Hers was one of the last profiles of LAPD beating victim Rodney King.

Prior to that, Bates spent several years as a correspondent on NPR's National Desk. Her first job at NPR was as a correspondent for Day to Day, its midday news program.

Bates was a print reporter before joining NPR and spent a decade as a contributing editor to the Op Ed pages of the Los Angeles Times. She was a freelance reporter for Time Magazine's Los Angeles bureau for several years, and her work has also appeared in The New York Times, the Washington Post, Essence, Vogue and Emerge.

A graduate of Wellesley College, Bates also attended the University of Ghana, Yale University's School of Management, and Journalist Law School at Loyola University.

In her outside life, Bates is the author of Plain Brown Wrapper and Chosen People, mysteries featuring reporter-sleuth Alex Powell, and co-author, with Karen Elyse Hudson, of the best-selling etiquette book Basic Black: Home Training for Modern Times. She and her husband live in Los Angeles and are the parents of a college student who, they devoutly hope, will graduate on time so they can stop paying tuition.

You can read Karen's stories here, and follow her on Twitter at @karenbates.

Shereen Marisol Meraji

Shereen Marisol Meraji joined the team after reporting for Marketplace's Wealth & Poverty Desk. Before coming to Marketplace, Meraji was a business and economy reporter for Southern California Public Radio. There, she covered entertainment, technology, entrepreneurship, and breaking business news.

Meraji also worked at NPR from 2003-2011, first as a producer for Day to Day and then for NPR's flagship news magazine, All Things Considered. Over that time, Meraji produced by day and worked as a freelance reporter for NPR in her free time (nights, weekends, and vacations) until she landed a full-time reporting gig at Southern California Public Radio.

In 2007 Meraji received Johns Hopkins University's International Reporting Project Fellowship, which took her to Beirut, Lebanon. In Beirut, her stories focused on the effects of the 2006 war on youth and youth culture, and they aired on NPR. Meraji is a native Californian with family roots in Puerto Rico and Iran. Her first real job in college involved radio journalism and she hasn't been able to shake her passion for story telling since. The best career advice Meraji ever received was from veteran radio journalist Alex Chadwick, who said, "when you see a herd of reporters chasing the same story, run in the opposite direction."

You can read Shereen's stories here, and follow her on Twitter at @radiomirage.

Alicia Montgomery

Alicia Montgomery is the Supervising Senior Producer of Code Switch, and has been the lead editor of the Michel Martin: Going There live event series. She is also part of leadership team of NPR's Sourcing Diversity effort. At Code Switch, Montgomery has been recognized with an award from the National Association of Black Journalists for radio editing, and edited a digital story that earned the Native American Journalist Association award for Best Editorial.

Montgomery was one of the editorial and production leaders throughout the seven-year run of Tell Me More with Michel Martin. In that capacity, she edited Michel Martin's Murrow Award-winning essay series, Can I Just Tell You, and curated many of the conversations that led to Martin's 2012 NLGJA Randy Shilts Award for LGBT Coverage.

She spent two years reporting for, covering the 2000 presidential race and its aftermath. There, Montgomery created Trail Mix, one of the first daily political blogs. She has been published in The New York Times Magazine, and the NAACP periodical The Crisis.

You can follow Alicia on Twitter here.

Tasneem Raja

Before joining Code Switch as senior digital editor, Raja was the editor of an award-winning interactive team of digital reporters and producers at Mother Jones. She also worked with the rest of Mother Jones's senior editorial staff in crafting overall digital strategy and learning from traffic analytics and audience engagement metrics. She created a popular company-wide skills-sharing series, led an overhaul of digital storytelling workflows across the newsroom, and served as a desk editor during several major breaking news events.

As an editor and reporter, Raja has a deep interest and background in issues of identity and inclusion. Her 7,000-word magazine feature on diversity in computer science has been called the definitive take on the subject. Her 2012 story on "brogrammer" culture in Silicon Valley broke open the conversation on tech's gender problem. Fast Company called has called her "one of the smartest people on Twitter" for my commentary on issues of diversity and identity.

Raja was on the launch team of the investigative journalism startup The Bay Citizen, which partnered with the New York Times to bring fresh local reporting ot the Bay Area. She is a graduate of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, where she was a pioneering student in the school's nascent multimedia program. She has also served as a judge for several journalism awards, including the Online News Association.

Before diving into digital news, Raja was a features reporter at the Chicago Reader, where she got to report on subcultures and secret history all over the city.

You can follow Tasneem on Twitter at @tasneemraja.

For more on the team, check out our about page. Don't miss our discussion guidelines. Want to pitch us? Here's how. And if you're wondering what it means to "code-switch," you'll probably find this helpful.



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