Every May we take extra time to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month by shining a light on AAPI experiences, filmmakers, musicians and other artists. Every year, this is an opportunity to listen and learn about the diversity within Asian and Pacific Islander communities as well as how deep the connections are to all facets of American history.

Check out the programs available throughout the month on our TV and radio stations and through our online media player. Our educational team has also assembled a collection of resources to help your children learn more about Asian and Pacific Islander communities. 


Independent lens: Hidden Letters
Sunday, May 14, 3 p.m.

The bonds of sisterhood, and the parallels of struggles among generations of women in China, are drawn together by the once-secret written language of Nushu, the only script designed and used exclusively by women.

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American Masters: Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV
Tuesday, May 16, 9:00 p.m.

See the world through the eyes of Nam June Paik, the father of video art and coiner of the term "electronic superhighway." Experience the acclaimed artist's creative evolution, as Academy Award nominee Steven Yeun reads from Paik's own writings.

Fanny: The Right to Rock

Monday, May 22, 10 p.m.

Fanny: The Right to Rock reveals the untold story of a Filipina American garage band that morphed into the ferocious rock group Fanny, who almost became the female Beatles. Features Bonnie Raitt, Joe Elliott.

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Independent Lens: The Donut King
Monday, Mary 29, 10 p.m.

An immigrant story with a (glazed) twist, The Donut King follows the journey of Cambodian refugee Ted Ngoy, who arrived in California in the 1970s and, through a mixture of diligence and luck, built a multi-million dollar donut empire up and down the West Coast.

Nature: Pandas Born to be Wild

Wednesday, May 31, 10 p.m.

Unlock the mysteries of wild pandas whose counterparts in captivity are known for their gentle image. Journey through the steep Qinling Mountains with filmmakers, scientists and rangers to witness pandas’ startling courtship and aggressive behaviors.


Seeking Harmony for Global Asian Immigrants
May 11, 1 p.m. 

From PEACE TALKS RADIO,, correspondent Sen Zhan explores three perspectives of intercultural conflict in transcultural Asian immigrants in western countries. When East meets West in the modern-day, it’s not only cultures that can clash; it’s also the past crashing into the present. Asians, who both cultures have formed, know this very well and are one group among many who navigate the conflicts of transcultural existence.

The Story of Ing (Doc) Hay-Frontier Herbalist

May 25, 1 p.m.

Frontier herbalist tells the unusual and significant story of Doc Hay and his business partner and friend Lung On who ran the Kam Wah Chung store and medical practice in the small Eastern Oregon town of John Day shortly after the Gold Rush and into the 1950's. Unlike other parts of the country where lynchings and massacres of Chinese immigrants were the norm, these two men were respected community members and are remembered residents.


Cinco de Mayo: Viva Mexico!
May 5, 9 p.m.

In this special, Ines Guanchez will share the history of Cinco do Mayo through the music of Mexican and Chicano composers from the past and present that celebrates Mexican national pride and heritage.

Ongoing Highlights

WHRO FM continues to celebrate diversity by featuring works from composers and artists of all ethnicities and cultures. During the month of May WHRO classical will also feature work by AAPI composers and performers in recognition of AAPI Heritage Month.


From WHRO World - Asian American Stories of Resilience and Beyond

Series premieres May 3 with new short films every Tuesday.
To commemorate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, an exclusive, digital-first series will turn the lens on AAPI filmmakers by providing an intimate look into stories often told but rarely heard. Asian American Stories of Resilience and Beyond features seven short films by both emerging and established creators, all focusing on the theme of resilience. Each filmmaker, with the guidance of an accomplished industry mentor, shines a light on moments, big and small, that demonstrate the diversity of the AAPI community. Within the seven films, we meet a Filipino American woman on a journey to reconnect with her father after being separated by COVID-19; the child of Vietnamese refugees who reflects on the closure of their mother’s nail salon; young Black, Indonesian American adults from Minneapolis whose dual identities shape their response to the killing of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor; and more.
Watch online now

Asian Americans

Asian Americans is a five-hour film series that delivers a bold, fresh perspective on a history that matters today, more than ever. As America becomes more diverse, and more divided while facing unimaginable challenges, how do we move forward together? Told through intimate personal stories, the series will cast a new lens on U.S. history and the ongoing role that Asian Americans have played.
Watch online now 

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Independent Lens: Free Chol Soo Lee

Sentenced to life for a 1973 San Francisco murder, Korean immigrant Chol Soo Lee was set free after a pan-Asian solidarity movement, which included Korean, Japanese, and Chinese Americans, helped to overturn his conviction. After 10 years of fighting for his life inside California state prisons, Lee found himself in a new fight to rise to the expectations of the people who believed in him.
Watch online now

Rise Against Asian Hate: One Day in March

Explore the fight against Asian American hate following the March 2021 mass shootings at three spas in Atlanta. Examine how this critical moment of racial reckoning sheds light on the struggles, triumphs and achievements of AAPI communities. The film is narrated by Sandra Oh with music by Jon Batiste and Cory Wong.
Watch online now


In a recent eMediaVA blog post, Social Studies Specialist Nick Dzendzel shared lesson ideas and resources for integrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month into classrooms this May. You can use these same resources to help your choldren explore a new culture. 

Video: All About the Holidays (best for elementary and middle school students)
Learn how people use the month to honor the accomplishments of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States while celebrating their diverse heritages.

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Video & Lesson Plans: Asian Americans (best for high school students)
Based on the Asian American series from PBS, we have developed over thirty lesson plans. You'll find this collection to include the stories behind the Chinese Exclusion Act, the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, Southeast Asian refugees after the Vietnam War, Filipino American Farmworkers, the fight for civil rights and much more.

Interactive Activities: Locate Regions of Asia and the Pacific
A common issue for students and adults is knowing your geography in uncommon places. These activities help children practice locating the different regions of Asia and the Pacific. Explore Central Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia and Pacific Islands