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Indiana Daily Student

Hearabouts radio show gives Asian-Americans a platform for discussion

Hearabouts: Asian American Midwest Radio, a monthly radio show that first aired in April 2018,  presents interviews, discussions and music featuring Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. 

The show is ran by staff and students of the Asian Cultural Center. 

Hearabouts engineer and IU student Joyce Lam said they ask critical questions about identity, culture, community and shared assumptions. It is a way for discussion and dialogue around issues important to the Bloomington community and beyond. 

Graduate assistant Keiko McCullough said the idea for the radio program came from Melanie Castillo-Cullather, director of the Asian Cultural Center. McCullough said she believes it’s a great idea to have Asian-American perspectives and stories about issues related to Asian-Americans told over public radio.

McCullough said this is one of the first predominantly Asian-American radio shows in the Midwest.

“It’s empowering to hear Asian-American voices on air and narratives that are often not talked about or looked over,” McCullough said.

The show discusses the experiences of Asian-Americans who grew up in the Midwest and those who live in the area for their education or are new to the area, according to their website

Their episodes often include special guests. Past guests include Vimala Phongsavanh, the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum Policy Director and Eric Langowski, a student assistant at the Asian Culture Center.

During the show’s citizenship/identity episode, Langowski discussed the reality of IU’s racist enrollment policy toward Japanese and Japanese-Americans during World War II.  

On average, the programs receives around 152 listeners on the WFHB website. Their most popular episode, Citizenship/Identity, had around 396 listeners as of Sept. 20.

 "Citizenship/Identity" episode received lots of positive feedback and discussed a part of history IU refuses to acknowledge, Lam said. She said the episode showed her that the program has allowed people to acknowledge the past and can reach out to educate listeners. 

McCullough said she hopes the show’s audience is entertained and gains a sense of curiosity. For Lam, it's about aiming to educate and spread awareness.

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