Diana WeiPing Ding was on Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor’s Mayor@Noon Show- June 24, 2022
Community interactions and community connections seem to be a theme in your life. Tell us about who may have inspired you for your life and who do you consider to be your role model or models?
Diana WP Ding:
My parents, My father taught me to be humble and my mother taught me to be a giver. My Father Ding Xuede was a professor in college and my mother was an engineer. I was once a very proud girl, my father told me “People like you, treat you well is not because of how great you are, but because of how nice they are.
My mother is a very generous person, we had an apple tree when it was fruitful, she would give the biggest apples to our neighbors. She told me “When you give, Give the best you have to people.
They taught me to be humble and to be a contributor, I learned more from Mr. Sandy Chau, an investor, civic leader, and philanthropist. He told me, that we come to the US, first as a receiver, then build up ourselves and become a contributor to give to the community. From a receiver to a contributor and leader. To lead with an example as a contributor.
You have been in the media and business world for a while now. As a Woman and an Asian American, tell us about any difficulties you have faced and what you may have learned from your experiences and most importantly how it translates to the successful woman you are today.
Diana WP Ding:
There are so many difficulties, first is the language, your English is never good enough to express what’s on your mind and in your heart. As an Asian woman, I feel you must break through the cultural barres. Many of us were thought not to have our voices be heard, and get our job done without bothering others. But now what I enjoy most is working with people to have our voices be heard. To me success is freedom, you have a choice to arrange your time, to be with the people you like, to do the things you truly believe. I’m still on my way.
There are so many conferences, forums and events that you promote, we only have time for a couple of them today, but I believe our viewers would take great interest in your Civic Leadership Forum, Silicon Valley. Can you tell us about your speakers and how you are really trying to bring awareness to our community about the importance of civic engagement, particularly in the AAPI Community.
Diana Weiping Ding:
Asians are the model citizens. They work hard, follow the rules, and have good educations. But many of us don’t think it’s important to vote, to get involved with the important political issues. Mr. Sandy Chau was the one who started Civic Leadership Forum, He inspired me in Civic engagement and social responsibilities. This is our country, we need to be at the table instead of on the table. Starting from 2017, we started Civic Leadership Forum Silicon Valley 4 times a year.
Invited elected officials, candidates, community leaders, and next-generation Asian Americans. To discuss the important issues facing our community. At the end of last year, we had Civic Leadership Forum Silicon Valley Different Cultures. Common Ground – A dialogue between Asian and African American Communities. DingDingTV, Silicon Valey Community Media pooled their efforts to hold a candid dialogue with our African neighbors, promoting understanding and unity through a forum free of agendas or propaganda. Hope our Asian seniors will no longer be afraid of black kids, and our African American neighbors will no longer feel unwelcome by Asians.
During the pandemic, Asian-owned businesses were hit particularly hard. You created a forum to help Asian-owned businesses learn about government contracts and resources and to celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Your 2022 Small Business Forum and Workshop was a success. Tell us about the participation there and how valuable this was for our community.
Diana WeiPing Ding:
That was partnered with the American Teochow Foundation, APAPA, Silicon Valley Central Chamber, Oakland China Town Chamber of Commerce, US-China Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley, and many others.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Asian- and Ethnic-owned small businesses were hit especially hard. The bipartisan $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill directs the agencies to increase contracting spending on small, disadvantaged businesses by 50% over the next five years. It represents a golden opportunity for small AAPI- and Ethnic-owned businesses. However, many small business owners are not aware of the resource available or where to start.
We had a whole day workshop inviting speakers from California, Santa Clara County, and Cities to talk about How can small businesses do business with the state of California? What are the funding programs available to them? What does government contracting involve? Where can small businesses get the tools and resources needed to compete for government contracts? Over 200 small business owners signed up online. Many of them heard this information for the first time.
What message would you like to leave for our community?
Diana WeiPing Ding:
Santa Clara is the best City of Diversity, Most of the people are active in their own community. Chinese, India, Vienanmiese, Philipinos, Portuguese, Jewish, African, Latinos, Persian, Iranian, and many more. I hope we can get to know their culture, attend their events and invite them to our events. I would love to learn about their culture and make friends with them. Hopefully, we can work together for our community.