Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month special will be hosted by Judy Hsu, Ravi Baichwal

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, May 23, 2024
ABC7 Chicago celebrates AAPI month
ABC7 Chicago celebrated AAPI month with a luncheon Thursday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, ABC7 Chicago will air a half-hour program highlighting the culture and contributions of Chicago's Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Hosted by ABC7 anchors Judy Hsu and Ravi Baichwal, with contributions from Eric Horng and Cate Cauguiran, the special will air Saturday, May 18, at 6 p.m. and Sunday, May 19, at 11 p.m.

Pui Tak Center, a historic landmark in Chinatown built in 1928, will serve as a backdrop for the stories. "OUR CHICAGO: CONNECTING CULTURES" will explore a variety of stories from Chicago's vibrant Asian American and Pacific Islanders communities with an eye on how this community has impacted our city through the arts, education, politics, business, culinary arts and more.

Stories include the following:

ROBERT CHEN -- Robert Chen, concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, is celebrating his 25th anniversary with the prestigious orchestra. He started playing violin at the age of 3. He immigrated to the U.S. from Taiwan in 1973. At 12, he played with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has played solo all over the world and collaborated with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman. During the pandemic, he formed a violin quartet with his immediate family. He plays a 1715 Stradivarius violin.

RAJA -- U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi has become perhaps the most influential congressman in Illinois. He started his career as an early adviser to Barack Obama when Obama was running for U.S. Senate. Now the Indian American congressman, who was born in New Delhi and educated at Harvard Law School, sits on some of the most important committees in the House, including the Intelligence Committee and as co-chair of the Committee on Strategic Competition between the U.S. and China. Ravi Baichwal meets with the congressman in his home district in Schaumburg and walks through the community talking to Baichwal about his career.

HALAU I KA PONO -- This Hawaiian dance school in Oak Park teaches Hula. Kumu June, who has danced hula since she was 6, is a master teacher or Kumu Hula. She runs her school alongside her husband who is a Zen priest.

AMEYA PERFORMING ARTS -- Ameya Performing Arts is a Bollywood dance company founded by seven Indian women in 2016 who blend classical and modern styles of dance to create pieces that celebrate movement, boundless spirit and the Indian culture.

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HPV/PHILLIPINES -- Many Filipino American from Northwestern Memorial Hospital have made multiple visits to the rural town of Salcedo, Philippines, over the last year to perform gynecologic surgery, deliver babies, and see patients at Salcedo Doctors' Hospital. Their primary goal is to establish a cervical cancer screening program and promote vaccination for human papillomavirus (HPV), which is responsible for more than nine of every 10 cases of cervical cancer worldwide. In the Philippines, cervical cancer is the No. 1 cause of death from a gynecologic cancer for women and less than 5% of the population has been fully protected from HPV.

KONBINI AND KANPAI - JAPANESE COMMUNITY IN WRIGLEYVILLE -- Wrigleyville has a long, rich history with Chicago's Japanese American community. Now a new Wrigleyville business called Konbini and Kanpai, which sells spirits and food inspired by Japan's famous convenience stores, adds a new chapter to that story.

Aurea De Guzman-- Chicago Nurse by day and pepper connoisseur the rest of the time, Aurea De Guzman loves creating hot sauce and other spicy creations. The self-titled "Chilipino" was featured on Hulu's "Superhot: The Spicy World of Pepper People" from her pepper garden, which she grows in Chicago. She promoted her new hot sauce brand on "Windy City Weekend." She has 46,000 Instagram followers and a growing brand.

ABC7 Chicago also celebrated Thursday with a luncheon.

About ABC7/WLS-TV Chicago

ABC7/WLS-TV Chicago is the No. 1 local news source and most-watched television station in Chicago. With top-rated daily newscasts spanning decades and the largest social media presence in the market with more than 2.6 million Facebook followers, ABC7 Eyewitness News provides breaking news, investigative reporting, weather, politics, traffic and sports in the multiplatform space toChicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana. Named Best News Operation by the Associated Press for four consecutive years, ABC 7 Eyewitness News produces "Chicago Proud," a series of features that spotlights everyday heroes in and around Chicago.The station also produces the highest-rated New Year's Eve special in Chicago, holiday kickoff special "The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival," syndicated to a national audience, as well as the award-winning program series "Our Chicago," which showcases the city's diversity and highlights contributions in the Black, Hispanic, Asian, LGBTQ+ communities, among others.Every Friday, Windy City Weekend, entertains while giving Chicagoans everything they need to know about what's happening in the city. ABC 7 is the only Chicago station producing and broadcasting parades representing Chicago's rich cultural history. In addition to producing town halls focused on current social issues, the station has a long and proud tradition of broadcasting political candidate debates keeping Chicago's electorate informed.ABC7's outreach efforts include annual partnerships with the Red Cross for life-saving blood drives, one of the biggest one-day drives in the country and, most recently, spearheading an effort to raise more than $1.5 million for area food pantries.