Luis Clemens

Luis Clemens is NPR's senior editor for diversity. He works across the newsroom to build a broad foundation of diverse experts and sources in order to enhance NPR's news coverage.

In this position, Clemens is also part of NPR's Diversity team and is active partner in training initiatives at NPR and across public radio - helping to strengthen local coverage by expanding the range of content, sources, ideas and expertise.

Before joining NPR in 2010, Clemens was a frequent guest on NPR's programs, often interviewed about Latino voters.

Clemens began his career in journalism at the local Telemundo and NBC television stations in Miami. In 1993, he began working at CNN as an assignment editor. Three years later he was promoted to Buenos Aires bureau chief.

Following CNN, he went on to be a spokesperson for the United Nations World Food Programme in Zimbabwe.

Before re-starting a career in journalism and coming to NPR, Clemens owned and operated two laundromats in Xalapa, Mexico.

Code Switch
2:16 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Got Bulgogi? The (Maybe True) Story Behind A 'New York Times' Ad

This ad was published in The New York Times on Wednesday.
Via The New York Times

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:25 pm

Who? What? When? Where? How? Why? All are standard questions, but: "Bulgogi?"

Read more
Code Switch
8:26 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

When The Beat Was Born: Hip-Hop's Big Bang Becomes A Kid's Book

Theodore Taylor III was given an award by the American Library Association for his artwork in When The Beat Was Born, a children's book about hip-hop's origins.
Roaring Brook Press

By now, the origin story is pretty well-known. Back in the early 1970s, a crew of kids of color in the South Bronx threw a bunch of parties where they plugged their turntables and their huge, 6-foot speakers into streetlight posts. They took the breakbeats from popular dance songs and rhymed aloud over them. Those parties were, in effect, hip-hop's genesis.

Read more
Code Switch
5:37 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Zoinks! Tracing The History Of 'Zombie' From Haiti To The CDC

A still from the 1943 film I Walked With A Zombie.
RKO The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 9:14 am

Each week, we take a look at a word or phrase that's caught our attention, whether for its history, usage, etymology, or just because it has an interesting story. You can see past "Word Watch" entries here.

"Who doesn't like zombies?"

That was the subject line of an email blast that landed in my inbox recently from a major online retailer as it announced it was "bringing their Black Friday deals back to life."

Read more
Code Switch
12:04 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

How I Learned To Swear In Cuban

Guillermo Álvarez Guedes, the Cuban comic who made a common Cuban expletive his trademark, died last week in Miami at age 86.
Gaston De Cardenas/El Nuevo Herald MCT via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 10:38 am

Editor's note: Fair warning — this essay is, in part, about Spanish profanities, and it includes several.

The man who taught me to swear in Cuban died last week.

Read more
Code Switch
6:03 am
Mon July 29, 2013

More About The 40-Year-Old Picture That Makes People Smile

This 1973 photo of five children playing in a Detroit suburb has gone viral on the Internet. The children were Rhonda Shelly, 3 (from left), Kathy Macool, 7, Lisa Shelly, 5, Chris Macool, 9, and Robert Shelly, 6.
Joe Crachiola Courtesy of The Macomb Daily

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 8:13 am

About 10 days ago, we posted a story about an almost 40 year-old photo that was taken by Joseph Crachiola. A former news photographer in the Detroit suburb of Mount Clemens, Mich., Crachiola had happened upon five children playing not far from his newsroom at the Macomb Daily and shot the above photo.

Read more