Lau has more than twenty years of professional experience as a folklorist, oral historian, teacher, curator, radio producer and consultant. From 1999 to 2009, she served as the Community Documentary Projects director at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. She has worked with a broad spectrum of colleagues from academia, local government, funding agencies and foundations, community organizations and the arts. Her work has focused on collecting stories and creating public presentations that honor their wisdom and insight. She is an award winning exhibition curator and children’s book author. Her project Face Up: Telling Stories of Community Life is a documentary public art project in Durham that has positively impacted the cultural and physical landscape of her home community. She currently serves on the board of Arts in North Carolina and as the president of the North Carolina Folklore Society. She is also the Director of the Pauli Murray Project at the Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University. Lau earned a BA in Sociology/Urban Studies from Washington University in St. Louis and an MA in folklore at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.