Paul Cheung: Promises & Pitfalls

Paul Cheung’s parents moved from Hong Kong to the United States when he was a baby. He met his father just once prior to being put on a Pan Am flight from Hong Kong to JFK all by his nine-year-old self.

From a Lower East Side tenement to suburban New Jersey, Paul witnessed firsthand the “promise and pitfalls” of America, from petty taunts and hallway microaggressions to the rise of AAPI hate crimes.

Today, as CEO of Center for Public Integrity, Paul leads an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit news organization dedicated to countering “the corrosive effects of inequality by holding powerful interests accountable and equipping the public with knowledge to drive change.”

Paul and I met during my Facebook tenure where we collaborated on a pilot program to teach media executives new skills and encourage them to collaborate and innovate. A “fellow fellow” of the MTC program, he has been a steady source of practical inspiration and friendship for me ever since.

“If anything the pandemic had taught us that things [are] going to change,” he says. “And there’s things that we should take with us and build on and learn. This is the time for us to do it.”

This week, Paul shares his immigration story, and how it influenced his storied career at the intersection of journalism, technology and social justice at America’s most prestigious institutions including The Wall Street Journal, Miami Herald, Associated Press, and Knight Foundation.

Listen to this enlightening, thought-provoking, and poignant episode of Friends & Neighbors on Apple, Spotify or wherever you find podcasts.

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