ABC7 Eyewitness News spotlights Black-owned businesses with live, week-long series

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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

CHICAGO (WLS) -- ABC 7, Chicago's Number One station for news, will present BLACK OWNED, a series of LIVE interviews spotlighting Chicagoland's diverse Black-owned business community the week of July13-17 on the station's 11 AM newscast. Anchor Terrell Brown will lead daily discussions with Black business owners representing businesses that include a theater group in Uptown, dentist in Woodlawn, syrup maker in South Holland, clothing designer in Merrillville, Indiana, and wine maker in South Shore. Terrell Brown and Tanja Babich anchor ABC 7 Eyewitness News in the Morning and at 11 AM. BLACK OWNED will be exclusively streamed live on and ABC 7's connected TV Apps on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV and Roku.

According to Jennifer Graves, Vice President of News, ABC 7, "We wanted Black-owned business owners to have a platform to talk to our viewers about their successes and challenges, to tell their stories and offer insight on the push for racial equity along with the impact Covid has had on their businesses."

The following is the list names/locations of businesses featured during the series, BLACK OWNED:

Black Ensemble Theater, Uptown

Monday, July 13: Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor started the performing arts center in 1976, eradicating racism through arts.

Black Ensemble Theater in Uptown was created back in the 70s to try to erase racism through theater arts.

Dr. Ogbonna Bowden, Woodlawn

Tuesday, July 14: Dr. Bowden stayed open during pandemic for dental emergencies. He also offers hundreds of hours of free dental care to children and families in need.

A local dentist expanded his practice to include a mobile dentistry service, bringing health smiles to underserved communities.

Michele's Syrup, South Holland

Wednesday, July 15: Michele Hoskins had a huge increase in business since the Aunt Jemima name change. Overnight, she says her life changed because of the increase in demand. She started the company 35 years ago.

Michele Hoskins' business had always been in the shadow of one of the largest brands in the syrup category - until now.

Rockablock Design, Merrillville, Indiana

Thursday, July 16: Rockland Page was about to shut down his custom design t-shirt shop during the pandemic. He designs and makes the shirts, but in June and July he's had more orders than he can handle. He is hoping to go full-time in the very near future.

Rockablock Design is owned and operated by Rockland Page, a graphic designer in Merrillville, Indiana.

Friday, July 17: Love Cork Screw Wine, South Shore: Chrishon Lampley loves wine, and decided to make a career out of it. She became a wine producer in 2014 and has since expanded into Chicago grocery stores and other states as well. The bottles are known for their sleek design and affordable price.

"Long gone are the days of in-person events. All things virtual, including wine tastings, mentoring and other connections are now the new normal."

Ardmore Roderick, West Loop

Wednesday, Aug. 19: Recently, Ardmore Roderick has been behind big construction projects at O'Hare, on the Red and Purple lines of the CTA and the Illinois Tollway.

A West Loop engineering firm is 60% diverse, which is uncommon in the field.

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 2.3 million Facebook followers, ABC7 Eyewitness News provides breaking news, investigative reporting, weather, politics, traffic and sports in the multiplatform space to Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana. Named Best News Operation by the Associated Press for four consecutive years, the station produces 41 hours of local news weekly and Chicago's only local weekday entertainment talk show, "Windy City LIVE," as well as its highest-rated New Year's Eve special. ABC7's award-winning programs such as "Heart and Soul," "The Ñ Beat" and "Asian Influences" showcase the city's diversity, while being 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 and, most recently, spearheading an effort to raise more than $1.5 million for area food pantries.