We took the picture at the Beijing airport on the day my father left for graduate school in the United States. That’s me in the green parka, age three.
A year later, Beijing would be gripped in martial law as government forces killed thousands of student demonstrators protesting for democracy at Tiananmen Square. I hid from the windows as tanks rolled down the street. I learned unchecked authority is dangerous.
After the massacre, my father defected from China. The United States offered my family political asylum, but for three years the Chinese government barred me and my mother from leaving the country. Meanwhile my dad could not return to China for fear of arrest. I learned we are at the mercy of governments.
It took my dad’s hunger strike before the Chinese embassy in Chicago to break the stalemate. I learned to be brave to fight for change.
I speak Spanish and Mandarin, and I enjoy traveling the world to find the stories of marginalized peoples. My work has won the honor of several AP awards, the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism and the Headliner’s Award for Investigative Journalism.