rest in peace, loni ding

Received the sad news last week that influential documentary filmmaker, university teacher, and media activist Loni Ding passed away in Oakland on February 20. She was a true pioneer, inspiring multiple generations of filmmakers and media activists, advocating for social justice by creating and supporting multicultural film and programming.: R.I.P. Loni Ding.

Ding produced more than 250 broadcast program on a wide range of subjects. Along with her independent productions, Ding produced programs collaboratively for the California Historical Society, California State Department of Education, Chinese for Affirmative Action, San Francisco Opera Center, and KQED-TV.

I wasn't fortunate enough to be one of the many students to have a class with Ding when taught at UC Berkeley, Cornell University, Mills College, UC Santa Cruz or the New School for Social Research. But I don't think it's any coincidence that my Asian Americans in the Media professor included her essay "Strategies of an Asian American Filmmaker" as the introductory piece in our course reader.

I did have the chance to briefly meet Loni Ding, while I was intern one summer at NAATA (now known as the Center for Asian American Media) -- an organization she helped establish. At the time, after having seen her work and reading "Strategies" so thoroughly, it was one of my first run-ins with an "icon" of Asian American cinema. I tried to play it cool. I realize now that that was completely unnecessary.

News of her passing has spread, and tributes have been rolling in from all around the community. Here's more about Loni Ding's work and influence... Center for Social Media: Loni Ding, Social Documentarian. Media Alliance: Rest in Peace, Loni Ding. Chasing Chan: RIP LONI DING. AsianAmericanFilm.com: Rest in Peace, Loni Ding.

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