ABC 7 Chicago Presents Asian Influences: Finding Our Voice

Hosted By Anchor/Reporter Linda Yu
During this half-hour special, three young "fashionistas" describe how they've turned their love for fashion into destination clothing boutiques called Akira Chicago. Jon Cotay, Eric Hsueh and Erikka Wang, bring fashion from Brazil, Milan and around the world to the heart of Chicago, attracting local customers looking to express themselves in unique ways. By showcasing international trends that have a local appeal, these entrepreneurs have created a business model that is both successful and inspirational.

By day, Edmer Abante is an unassuming music teacher who offers private lessons to the students at Edgewood Elementary in Woodridge, Illinois. By night, this Filipino American songwriter takes the stage at local bars and clubs to perform original compositions as the solo artist "Mer." Critical reviews of his work have brought nothing but praise for his music and pop vocal style. In a tough industry, "Mer" has cultivated the Internet and a grassroots fan base to find an audience for his music.

Jean M. Fujiu, executive director of the Japanese American Service Committee, has been instrumental in not only providing social services to the Japanese American Community, but also providing a legacy for the next generation. "Origins of Now" is a traveling exhibit that illuminates the story of Japanese Americans who resettled in Chicago after World War II.

In 1998, Mr. Pethinaidu Veluchamy purchased Mutual Bank, a small group of community-based institutions that now boasts $1.5 billion in assets. He talks about how family and faith are the cornerstones that helped him build a successful business.

Edgar Vargas and Rubye Wilson are the producers of ASIAN INFLUENCES: FINDING OUR VOICE.

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