“To take into care what is precious and sacred to indigenous people and facilitate the passing of

indigenous knowledge and cultural values from one generation to another”.

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Media Specialist . . . China Ching

Bessie Dvora China Leipakumakaniokalani Ching (China) is Native Hawaiian, Chinese, and Japanese from her father's side and Jewish from her mother's side. She was named according to Hawaiian and Jewish traditions, and carries names from the matrilineal lines of both her parents and comes from a family of artists. China has a Bachelor’s degree in Hispanic Studies from Connecticut College and a Masters degree in Oral History from Columbia University.

China has taught video production and digital storytelling across the United States and in Canada and Africa, with a particular emphasis on using media technologies and storytelling for social and community change.  China was a founding member of Third World Majority, a new media training and production resource center where she was the Director of Circle of Voices, a Native-specific training program. China worked for four years at the National Native American AIDS Prevention Center (NNAAPC), where she developed a national HIV-stigma media campaign entitled, Together We Are Stronger. She was also the author of, Youth Powered Media: A Native Youth HIV Prevention Media Project an 18-session curriculum designed to provide HIV prevention education, media literacy, media production skills, and leadership development to American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian teens.

China’s contribution to this project will be directing the activities of the interactive webcast which will provide artists & art lovers worldwide an opportunity to share their thoughts, and art with others on this site. At the same time they will be able to follow the project and interact with the program’s artists.

China 3rd person from bottom right - photo of women from Masaka that China filmed telling their stories  of living with obstetric fistula, caused by prolonged, traumatic childbirth without adequate medical care.  Due to the stigma of this condition and their inability to have any more children, many are abandoned by their husbands and families, shunned by their communities. At the film screening of their stories, the women laughed and cheered at their images, as they nodded in recognition of their stories.  Afterwards, they danced and sang songs. These women were so eager for their stories to be released in hopes that it would help break the stigma of obstetric fistula. The women are wrapped in fabric from Hawai`i that China gifted them.

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