We at CAAM are saddened by the passing of Leanne Ferrer, Executive Director of Pacific Islanders in Communication (PIC), an organization that has worked closely with CAAM for decades to uplift the stories of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Leanne has been presence at many CAAMFests throughout the years. Even those of us who met Leanne only briefly have unforgettable impressions of the connection she was able to make and of the way she could make each of us feel very special as a person.
“Leanne embodied the Native Hawaiian spirit of aloha, which she brought to everything she did, whether it was PIC productions or travelling to the halls of congress to advocate for the support of public broadcasting,” says CAAM Executive Director Stephen Gong.
The Asian American and Pacific Islander communities are often allied in the public broadcasting space and in broader civic issues, and Leanne was often a guiding force in this partnership.
Says CAAM Director of Programs Don Young, “Leanne always brought an equal amount of mutual respect and friendship as we worked together to elevate our communities in unity. We at CAAM will miss her deeply.”
Pacific Islanders in Communication issued a statement. Here is an excerpt of their reflections:
“Words cannot sufficiently describe what she meant to all of us as a tireless leader, advocate, friend and family member. She’s touched innumerous lives in immeasurable ways as she’s supported and contributed to the independent filmmaking world and in day to day life.
With Leanne’s passing, she leaves behind a legacy that will long-serve to inspire and empower us to continue telling Pacific Islander, and the larger BIPOC community’s stories.”
CAAM offers our deepest condolences to Leanne’s family and to the Pacific Islander filmmaking community and will continue to be inspired by her legacy of leadership.