In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, ABC 7 Chicago presents ASIAN INFLUENCES, an Emmy Award-winning program that shines the spotlight on Chicago's Pan-Asian American community. Hosted by Linda Yu, with contributions by Judy Hsu, Ravi Baichwal and Eric Horng, the latest ASIAN INFLUENCES edition airs Saturday, May 12 at 6:30 pm. An encore performance will air Sunday, May 19 at 1:30 PM.
On this edition of ASIAN INFLUENCES the remapping of some of Chicago's neighborhoods is a point of focus. Those with highly concentrated Asian populations are at risk of losing their political voice. First term Alderman Ameya Pawar of the 47th Ward and Andy Kang, Senior Staff Attorney for the Asian American Institute, discuss the challenges to the political gerrymandering.
In addition, ASIAN INFLUENCES profiles Michelle Ricolcol, a senior at Loyola Academy in Wilmette. Michelle, a first generation Filipina-American, was one of five seniors to lead Loyola to a Final Four berth at this years' Class 4A Illinois High School Girls Basketball Tournament and the only Asian American on the team. Also profiled, another first generation Filipino-American, Jose Quezada, is making his mark inside the ring as a champion boxer. Jose will represent Chicago in the National Golden Gloves competition at 132 pounds. Both teenagers represent the next generation of scholars and athletes bound for glory.
For the first time, Asian Influences celebrates the contribution of the Polynesian culture by way of Oahu, Hawaii. From the birthplace of surfing to the modern day heirs of this Asian American sport, the program introduces Kekoa Uemura, a third generation surfing pro, who keeps the tradition alive by shaping custom surfboards under his own brand name.
Finally, the program takes a look at a few schools that have opted to teach Mandarin as part of their curriculum. The Uno Garcia School located in Chicago's Brighton Park neighborhood requires that students take four years of Mandarin. After a recent trip in Beijing, Shanghai the students talk about how they were able to practice what they learned.
ASIAN INFLUENCES will be available on-demand at abc7chicago.com. Edgar Vargas and Rubye Wilson are the producers of ASIAN INFLUENCES.