Calendar of Exhibitions and Events: May 2021


Smithsonian Social Studies Online: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Live Program
May 6; 11-11:30 a.m.
Free; More information:

Join the National Museum of American History for an online exploration into key social studies topics, featuring museum resources from the Smithsonian. This episode will focus on Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. There is no pre-registration required. The program focuses on educators but is open to the general public. Videos are archived at the same link.

Viral Histories: Stories of Racism, Resilience and Resistance in Asian American Communities
YouTube interview series
For the playlist, please visit:

Viral Histories is a collection of conversations with community leaders who combat racism while serving on the front lines. During this pandemic, Asian Americans have been experiencing increased racism and hate crimes. While these incidents of increased prejudice and violence occur today, they reflect a long history of how power, prejudice, and public health have intersected throughout American history.

During the week of May 18, 2020, an interview was released every day at 9 a.m., followed by a live Q&A with some of the featured speakers. To watch the archived Q&A for each conversation, check the video description.

Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II
Traveling Exhibition
More information here:

After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and the United States entered a war in Europe and the Pacific, the nation was overcome by shock, anger, and fear—a fear exaggerated by long-standing anti-Asian prejudice. Ten weeks later President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, under which nearly 75,000 American citizens of Japanese ancestry were taken into custody. Another 45,000 Japanese nationals living in the United States (but long denied citizenship because of their race) were also incarcerated. Some forty years later, members of the Japanese American community led the nation to confront the wrong it had done—and to make it right.

Though the museum is closed, "Righting a Wrong" is traveling the country as a touring exhibition. The exhibition website linked above contains many of its objects and stories.

Hidden Workers, Forgotten Lives
Virtual Exhibition

More information here:

The construction of the Transcontinental Railroad was an engineering feat of human endurance, with the western leg built largely by thousands of immigrant Chinese laborers. Chinese workers found some economic opportunity but also experienced hostility, racism, violence, and legal exclusion. In America in the 1800s, Chinese workers were seen as racially inferior to white workers and were paid less and relegated to the most undesirable jobs. The growing anti-Chinese movement at the local level culminated in the passage of the 1882 Exclusion Act, the first federal law to restrict the immigration of a group of workers by the criteria of race and class, and made Chinese migrants “illegal aliens.” 

This online exhibition includes objects and narratives that illustrate the history of these Chinese, "hidden" workers.



National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) Virtual Bookshelf comprises NEH-supported projects on the Asian-American and Pacific Islander experience:

The Smithsonian Asian Pacific Heritage Center “Standing Together Against Hate” portal provides links to exhibitions and resources from across the Smithsonian museums focusing on Asian-American and Pacific Islander voices:

SI APAC Care Package is a collection of creative offerings by artists, writers and scholars, addressing grief through vision, reflection and healing:



Innovative Lives: Sarah Will and Mike Schultz
May 12; 4 p.m.
Free registration:

Sarah Will, Paralympic skier and accessibility advocate and Mike Schultz, inventor of the Moto Knee and Versa Foot, will come together to talk with NMAH sports curator Jane Rogers about their respective careers and overlapping interests in advocacy for accessible sports and the history of and ongoing technology innovations in adaptive skiing and snowboarding. For more information, please visit:

Media only:
Rebecca Seel