It‘s Hard to Hate Close Up – Nydia Han

Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly and I could not agree more with that.” Nydia Hahn

Sharing experiences and information goes along way into humanizing people, and is effective when it comes to sensitizing people on social injustices. This is according to Nydia Hahn, who after going through racism took up the role to inform and educate others against social injustice.

Nydia Han is an Emmy award winning television journalist, TEDx speaker, and creator of #ThisIsAmerica, a provocative three-part documentary series about racism and the diverse American experience. Nydia co-anchors 6abc Action News Sundays and is the station’s consumer investigative reporter. She gets real results for Action News viewers by troubleshooting issues and exposing scams as well as dangerous products.

Nydia is also committed to using her platform to uplift, empower, and give voice to traditionally underrepresented, marginalized groups. She is the recipient of the Pearl S. Buck International Woman of Influence award, NAAAP Inspire Award, and Global Voice Award from the World Woman Summit.  She was also named “Outstanding Ally” of Diversity and Inclusion by the Philadelphia Inquirer.  

She graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and her career has taken her to television stations in Idaho, Oklahoma City, and Texas. Nydia is on the community advisory board for the Asian American Women’s Coalition. She is also passionate about raising awareness and desperately needed funds for lung cancer research in memory of her mother. She enjoys good food, wine, and most of all a good laugh. And she is trying really, really hard to teach her two young children to speak Korean.

In today’s episode, Nydia will talk about her journey to becoming who she is today. She is also discusses on the importance of moving in to share in other people’s experiences.

Listen in!

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  • Three factors really compelled me to pursue journalism and first, I’ve always loved to write. [3:40]
  • My parents instilled in me the importance of a life of service, and I believe strongly that we as journalists really serve our communities. [3:47]
  • Number three, I’ve always been passionate about justice and particularly racial justice. [3:53]
  • I originally wanted to write long form magazine pieces but then I did an internship at a television station and ended up catching the TV bug. [4:22]
  • I was mesmerized by the power of moving pictures and sound and the immediacy of television news, because this was at a time when you had to wait overnight to get your news and print. [4:31]
  • I was in Pocatello in south eastern Idaho and it was a great learning experience where those things that I learned have really stuck with me and helped me become the journalist that I am today. [5:26]
  • When I’m writing, I am thinking about the pictures that we have, how our editor will be able to piece this together and cover what I’m saying. [7:44]
  • People have no idea how much happens behind the scenes and I have great respect for our producers, editors or photographers. [8:56]
  • Commercial break. [10:12]
  • I have always been a proud Asian American so my mission is to amplify our experience and share what it means to be an Asian American. [12:01]
  • When I was a little girl, very few people looked like me in my neighborhood and I was proud to share the culture and traditions and foods of my ancestors with my friends and people I knew. [12:13]
  • As I got older, I started noticing discrimination and I became able to identify and label racism for what it was. [13:06]
  • My desire to amplify the Asian American experience and change the AAPI stereotype and the ways in which we are very much wrongly perceived really grew. [13:15]
  • My professional work to combat anti Asian hate began when a driver yelled “this is America at me”, and I responded to her in a live Facebook video that went viral. [13:25]
  • That sent me on a path to really speak out and stand up for Asian Americans where I really just wanted to tell stories in the hopes that we can be seen for who we are. [13:53]
  • The anti Asian hate we’ve seen amid the pandemic has made it crystal clear to the wider public how important this work is. [14:19]
  • This is not just about Asian Americans, it is about how we as humans default to hate anytime we’re afraid or uncertain and that really hurts our entire society. [14:31]
  • I think that my response to her taught me something about myself where I also realized that I have some of my own work to do. [15:41]
  • If I’m going to challenge people to look at themselves, I needed to sort of confront some of the biases that I myself have. [15:40]
  • I am so happy with all of the shows and movies and podcasts that are coming out that help us all move in. [18:23]
  • The more we can do to move in to get to know each other’s experiences so that we don’t see people as generalizations or stereotypes but just as individual human beings. [18:39]
  • This not just about being Asian American, I really try to do this for every group that I think is traditionally unknown or misunderstood. [18:54]
  • A lot of people are familiar with that Martin Luther King Jr. Quote, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. [19:11]
  • In this age we have all these ways to connect yet we seem more disconnected than ever before. [20:40]
  • I just ask people to share their knowledge and share who they are to help others move in. [20:48]


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