I'm a journalist who writes about culture, human interest issues, and communities both nationally and internationally. Most recently, I was a reporter on Business Insider's Voices of Color vertical, where I covered stories about race & identity. I'm thrilled to have received the Martha Colman Award for Best New Journalist at the 2022 Front Page Awards.

On top of straightforward news hits and deeper-dive analytical pieces, my absolute favorite stories to write are features with a narrative spin. You'll find some of my favorite stories below, and my full coverage on my author page.

Find out more about me — including how to contact me — here.

The eldest daughters of immigrants are exhausted. They're banding together for support.

Sherri Lu was home for the holidays last year when she told her mother she was too young to act as a stand-in parent.

All her life, Lu felt like she had a great deal of pressure to be a role model and to take on responsibilities her parents didn't expect from her little sister, who is six years younger, because they saw her as a child.

"But I'm also a child, but I feel like a third parent sometimes," Lu, who's in her mid-20s, said.

A global food tour of Queens, New York's most diverse borough

Immigrants are the backbone of New York City’s culture. They run restaurants, coffee shops, convenience stores, bakeries, tea emporiums, and more. A report from New York City’s Department of Small Business Services published in 2015 suggested that while foreign-born immigrants made up about a third of the city’s population, they ran nearly half of all small businesses in the city and were more than twice as likely as native-born residents to start their own business.

How the Black and Latino queer community made voguing a form of resistance

When Raul Rivera was 12 years old, he snuck out of his house after bedtime with his book bag and a map of New York City. On it, he'd circled Christopher Street. It was 1992, and he'd grown curious about the neighborhood after seeing an MTV special on HIV awareness, which depicted the Christopher Street Piers as a haven for the LGBTQ community.

Rivera hadn't come out as gay yet, but as he got off the 1 train, he saw a sight that would soon change that.

From mass weddings to sex rituals, life inside the controversial Unification Church

Part 3 of a three-part series about those born into the Unification Church.

On August 8, 2005, Hana* stood in a large stadium in Seoul with nearly 500,000 other people, ready for her wedding day. The 19-year-old wore a standard-issue wedding dress and veil that were identical to those of the thousands of brides around her. Men wore simple black suits.

Everyone looked virtually the same, thousands of bride-and-groom copies in black and white. They were to be Blessed by Rev. Sun Myung Moon, married in a mass wedding to usher in a new era of peace and unity.

Mass weddings, or "Blessings," are a hallmark of the Unification Church, a religious movement started by Rev. Moon. Through it, members of the controversial church believe the couple is freed from a lineage of sinful humanity that began with the fall of Adam and Eve. The children from these marriages would be born pure and sinless.

From 'slapping therapy' to steep 'liberation' fees, ex-members speak out about life inside the Moonies 'cult'

Part 2 of a three-part series about those who were born into the Unification Church.

After Reverend Sun Myung Moon's death in 2012, the number of second-gens who left the Unification Church continued to grow. As of July 29, 2022, there were 960 members in a private Facebook group for second-gens, the nickname given to children born into the controversial church. Many made the difficult decision to leave the communities they were born into after they became increasingly aware of the church's hypocrisies — and of how its values clashed with their own burgeoning senses of self.

"While growing up in a diverse community with spiritual values were benefits, the martyristic handling of money, sexuality, parenting and hierarchy have no doubt left their marks," the Facebook group's description reads. "This was our inheritance."

Shinzo Abe's suspected assassin wanted revenge against the Unification Church. Here's what growing up in the Moonies 'cult' was like.

Part 1 of a three-part series telling the stories of those who were born into the Unification Church, and their experiences trying to leave it.

"I will fight for God! I will fight till I die!"

Sujin* threw herself into the chant. It was the summer of 2012, and she and four other teens were on a three-month-long road trip — driving from Texas to Arizona, and then onto New Mexico, California, and Washington — to raise money for their church.

Sujin and her peers were members of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, more commonly called the Unification Church. Elders in the church, known in the 1970s by the pejorative "Moonies," told the teenagers they were on the frontlines, on a mission to become more attuned to their inner, spiritual selves.

Rising prescription costs make it nearly impossible for Americans to get treatment. Insurance providers are taking steps to change that.

Former Essence Magazine employees say they witnessed a 'hellish' and 'dehumanizing' culture at the leading publication for Black women in America

On June 28, 2020, a group of women using the name Black Females Anonymous published a damning public letter that shook Essence magazine, the leading publication for Black women in America, to the core.

"The Essence brand promise is fraudulent," the essay, published on Medium, claimed. "The once exalted media brand dedicated to Black women has been hijacked by cultural and corporate greed and an unhinged abuse of power."

Black women are twice as likely to have stillbirths. With Roe overturned, experts say more women of color could be investigated for miscarriages.

In December 2018, Marshae Jones was shot in the stomach and lost her unborn child. But it wasn't the shooter who was charged with murder. Instead, it was Jones, a Black woman who was pregnant when she was shot, who was indicted for killing her baby.

The grand jury in Alabama said in its indictment the following June that Jones "intentionally" caused the death of her baby "by initiating a fight knowing she was five months pregnant," AL.com first reported. She faced up to 20 years in prison.

50 years since Title IX was enacted, survivors of sexual assault say the law failed to protect them

When Anissa Cartagena was sexually assaulted by a fellow student at Delaware State University in 2019, she initially did not want to report the incident to the school.

Cartagena said she was "extremely afraid" of Title IX and the police since she was drunk at the time and DSU is a dry campus. On top of that, Cartagena, who is half-Black and half-Hispanic, said she knew the odds were stacked against her.

"From a young age, I was told that if I were to go missing, no one would look for me, that no police officer or detective would help me. Girls like me, we don't get to be victims. We don't get justice," Cartagena told Insider.

He's acted in over 650 roles, but James Hong says there's still a long way to go for Asian American representation in Hollywood

When James Hong received his star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame in May, it was a seven-decade-long dream come true.

"Everyday I wake up and I think, it cannot be," Hong told Insider.

At 93 years old, Hong made history by becoming the oldest actor to receive a star, which he celebrated in a red silk Tang suit, surrounded by a flurry of drums and Chinese lion dancers.

The recognition comes after nearly 70 years of acting, during which Hong strived to carve out a space for Asian American talent in an industry dominated by white actors.

From 'vanilla' skirt suits to 'too-tight' shirts: Female lawyers describe how it's impossible to win when it comes to professional dress codes

In 2009, Emily Galvin-Almanza, a public defender, drove five hours to a California state prison to visit a client. As she approached the metal detectors, a male officer turned her away.

The reason? Her bra.

Lawyers and loved ones who visit correctional facilities are subject to strict dress codes: no skirts shorter than 2 to 3 inches above the knee, no sleeveless tops, no open-toed shoes — and no underwire bras.

So Galvin-Almanza marched back to her car, tore up the stitching of her plain, beige Victoria's Secret bra, and pulled out two C-shaped bands of wire from it. She sure as hell wasn't going to drive home without doing her job, she told herself.

"These are 19th-century modesty rules," Galvin-Almanza said. "There's no rational basis for them."

Asian American women are speaking out against hate. Activists say that can mean fighting sexism and erasure

It was well into the rally's second hour before New York assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou stood on stage at the local Rally Against Hate to deliver her speech. By then, cries had rung out from the crowd to "let Asian women speak!"

Niou is Taiwanese-American and was, until this year, the only Asian woman in New York state legislature. She was one of several women scheduled to speak at the March rally, organized in protest against a recent surge in anti-Asian hate crimes.

To a crowd of signs urging "Stop Asian Hate," Niou recalled when she first received reports that a 21-year-old white man shot and killed eight people, including four Korean and two Chinese women, in massage parlors in the Atlanta area.

What If You Want to Be a K-pop Star—but You’re Not Korean?

The ballroom of the Hotel Pennsylvania in midtown Manhattan was packed with 300 or so nervous unknowns who’d come to audition in the hope of becoming K-pop stars. Posters lined the walls—glossy images of successful, beautifully manicured singers. This was the 2018 Global Audition held by SM Entertainment, one of the “Big Three” talent agencies in Korea.

Leo Lopez-Gonzalez was unsure why he was there, surrounded by people who seemed naturally beautiful, many of them glammed out in winged eyeline

Women and tenants of color grapple with higher rates of eviction. Access to a lawyer can boost success rates in housing court by 70%.

Linda Hutchison was $1,300 behind on rent when the electricity in her second-floor apartment was cut off.

Her landlord, a white woman, told her it was a problem with burst pipes in the basement — even though the electricity in the downstairs unit ran fine.

Hutchison, who has a spinal-cord injury, has had to use crutches since 2019, making it difficult to nail down a job. Despite her disability and unemployment status, she was consistently denied the rental assistance she applied for every month in Nebraska.