> Loyola Marymount University > Student Life > Student Affairs Division > Interculturalism > Ethnic and Intercultural Services > EIS Offices > Asian Pacific Student Services > Signature Programs > The Salon > Salon Discussions

Salon Discussions

The Salon was created to provide a safe space for Asian American/ Asian and Pacific Islander students on campus to engage in conversations that matter the first friday of each month in a comfortable environment.


Fall 2010



Asian American empowerment. What are the challenges, opportunities and responsibilities for Asian & Pacific Islander Americans at LMU? Meet some of LMU's Asian & Pacific Islander American student leaders.

Asian American empowerment and media invisibiity and the portrayal of Asian Pacific Americans in film. What are the challenges, opportunities and responsibilities for Asian & Pacific Islander Americans?

Guest Host: Gene Cajayon was born in Saigon during the Vietnam War to a Filipino father and a Vietnamese-French mother. As an infant he and his family immigrated to the United States, eventually settling in Orange County, California. Growing up with equal doses of Filipino, Vietnamese and American culture, he fell in love with movies at an early age. From Ang Lee to Spike Lee, he is influenced by a broad range of contemporary filmmakers, and is committed to portraying a diverse image of America in his work.

Cajayon attended film school at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he began work on The Debut, his first feature film. A groundbreaking coming-of-age story about a Filipino American family, Cajayon and his Producer Lisa Onodera (Picture Bride) completed The Debut after an arduous 8 year production process. From there the film embarked on a successful film festival run which included awards for Best Feature Film from the Hawaii International Film Festival and the San Diego Asian Film Festival.

The Debut's crowd-pleasing success on the festival circuit inspired Cajayon to launch an ambitious theatrical self-distribution campaign. For 2 years, The Debut's grass roots promotional team (consisting of Cajayon, Onodera and a full-time staff of 6) traveled to 15 major cities across the United States and promoted the film directly to Asian Pacific American and mainstream communities. Utilizing aggressive grass roots promotional tactics, targeted advertising and traditional media coverage, The Debut eventually grossed US$1.8 million at the box office and won the 2001 Ammy Award for Best Independent Feature Film.

The movie's extraordinary success in theaters led to a domestic and international distribution deal with Sony Pictures. 12 years after Cajayon first started work on The Debut, the film has now been released in theaters, DVD, home video and television in over 50 countries worldwide. Cajayon and Onodera are currently developing their next feature film, Glass Street, a multi-cultural crime drama set in the San Francisco Bay area.


Asian American empowerment and media invisibiity and the portrayal of Asian Pacific Americans. What are the challenges, opportunities and responsibilities for Asian & Pacific Islander Americans?

Guest host: Kai Ma is the editor-in-chief of KoreAm, the longest-running independent English-language publication serving the Korean American community. For KoreAm, she has led coverage on international adoption policies, veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and the inauguration of Barack Obama. During graduate study at the UC Berkeley School of Journalism, she reported for Newsday’s general assignment and health desks, then traveled to South Korea to write about North Korean defectors and their adjustment into capitalist Seoul. She has reported for New York magazine, Angeleno magazine, The Daily Beast, Forbes, Nerve, the New York Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle. In 2009, she was the recipient of the New America Media Award for “Best Investigative Reporting” for her feature on Proposition 8 and the Korean American vote. For more information, visit iamKoreAm.com.


Asian Pacific American empowerment.
Guest Host: Carl Choi also known as "Catch" or "Go USA, USA, USA" , is an American entrepreneur, producer, and talent manager. Graduating from the University of Southern California, Marshall School Of Business, he has held senior positions with Andersen Business Consulting and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. He is currently the CEO and co-founder of Plan C Group, Inc.

As CEO of Plan C Group, Choi has been a key player in the company's accomplishments and growth. Choi is known for his work with Asian American representation in the media, and his focus on the Asian American market is said to have sparked a growth in the awareness for the Asian American community.

In 2001, Choi became a close friend and later developed a business management relationship with Jin. Choi also managed a well-known Asian American music group in the United States called Far East Movement (2003-2010) and was instrumental in signing the group to Cherry Tree / Interscope Records.

Expanding into new areas of the entertainment business in 2009, Choi signed on to manage Taiwanese pop-star Van Ness Wu, pastor-artist Jaeson Ma, as well as Hong Kong actor, director, producer, Daniel Wu.

He has also dabbled in several films, acting as the Executive Producer/Producer for No Sleep Til Shanghai, Executive Producer for 1040, and also helping produce films such as a 2007 Sundance Official Selection Finishing the Game, and action drama West 32nd