The Real Diaper Association, a grassroots cloth diaper nonprofit, is a collective effort of its passionate founders. We look forward to the cultural shift in the U.S. toward the use of simple, reusable cloth diapers through local activists like you.
This is the story of RDA in brief.
In 2000, Lori Taylor began collecting information and planning a cloth diaper advocacy organization. After their participation in an extended public conversation about the necessity for diaper education, Lori approached Jessica in 2002 to join her in planning what they provisionally called "the real diaper association," after the UK Real Nappy Association. By 2003, Jessica and Lori recognized that Heather Sanders was a tireless cloth diapering advocate who would be an excellent addition to the team. Heather, Jessica and Lori kept eyes and ears open to find other vocal cloth diaper advocates. After reading an article by Heather, Angelique Mullen had reached out to grow a national organization, so they invited her along in 2004. The team of founders was complete by mid-2004 when Rose Bloomberg-Rissman, the gem of all organizing gems, brought her abundance of expertise and time to the group. By the end of 2004, RDA had become a nonprofit public benefit corporation in California, nominated a board and adopted bylaws. In July 2005, the IRS granted RDA status as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization. In 2006 Heather Sanders left to work full time. In 2009, RDA brought on Heather McNamara, as Executive Director. Michelle Dominguez joined as Event Coordinator in 2012 to direct the Great Cloth Diaper Change. In 2014, Heather McNamara stepped down to focus on her family, and Mary Green came on board as the next Executive Director. In 2015, Zoe Kohner came on board as the first Community Resource Director. In 2015, Mary Green stepped down to take a full time job. In December 2015 Michelle Dominguez shifted her responsibilities to become the Executive Director as well as continue her role as Event Coordinator. Michelle and Zoe will implement projects and programs under the committed leadership of the current Board members. Each year, more committed RDA volunteers have been asked to join the board: Angela Torres, and Elizabeth Pilgrim in 2012; Rachel Dove and Sara Moore in 2013; Janice Roodsari in 2014; Emily Kuhn in 2015.
◊ Michelle Dominguez, Executive Director and Event Coordinator
◊ Zoe Kohner, Community Resource Director
◊ Angela Torres, Chairperson
◊ Lori Taylor, Vice-Chairperson & Faithkeeper
◊ Elizabeth Pilgrim, Treasurer
◊ Rachel Dove, Secretary
◊ Sara Moore
◊ Janice Roodsari
◊ Emily Kuhn
◊ Marie DiCocco, Emeritus
What Is the "Real" in Real Diaper Association?
The Real Diaper Association is named after our British cousin, Real Nappy Association (RNA). Through the work of RNA and their Real Nappy Week, cloth nappies or diapers have become quite common in the UK, with support even from local and national government. The Real Nappy Association borrowed the Real in their name from a movement called The Campaign for Real Ale, in which consumers called for traditional brewing and ingredients. In all cases, Real has stood for the natural choice.
The Real Diaper Association is a Public Benefit Corporation under California Nonprofit Public Benefit Law, Endorsed by the California Secretary of State 11/10/2004
◊ Jessica, for creating the Real Diaper Association logo and website template.
◊ Stell Michelsen, for helping with early organizing and writing.
◊ Dana Hendricks, for helping with early organizing and research.
◊ Tracy Collins, for helping with early organizing and planning local structures.
◊ Rose Bloomberg-Rissman, for creating the Real Diaper Circle program and nonviolent communications training materials.
◊ Eddy Ammar, for a mammoth job of clean scripting.
◊ Real Nappy Association and Women's Environmental Network in the UK, for their pioneering work in advocating cloth nappies and for encouraging us.
◊ Ipswich Real Nappy Network in Suffolk, England, for a truly inspiring local view of how parents can organize for cloth diapers, for letting the American into a real-life Nappucino meeting, and for ongoing advice and encouragement.
◊ Heather Sanders, for more than 2000 hours of volunteered time and experience as a Founder, Board member, and organizer of RDA.
◊ Angelique Mullen, for years of volunteered time and experience as a Founder, Board member, and organizer of RDA.
◊ Angela Imes, for six years of volunteered time and expertise as a Board member of RDA.
◊ Stacey Clover and iCreativeMedia, for creating a gorgeous full-page ad for Mothering Magazine and for designing the theme for our new website.
◊ Heather Bradley,
Michelle Dominguez has an extensive background in social justice advocacy, environmentalism and civil rights work. After the birth of her second child, she realized that although she was juggling a career and mothering two babies, she could no longer rationalize the amount of garbage created by using disposables for two babies. Deciding she could no longer use disposables in good conscience, she made a 100% switch to full time cloth diapering. The transition was surprisingly easy, and she became a vocal cloth advocate, sharing her experience as a working mom who successfully laundered her diapers at home. Although her children are now well past diaper age, Michelle remains committed to spreading the word about cloth diapering. As the Event Coordinator for the Great Cloth Diaper Change (GCDC), she utilizes her previous non-profit event planning experience to coordinate our annual, global event aimed at raising cloth diaper awareness.
Zoe Kohner is a cloth diapering mother of two. She discovered the Lehigh Valley Diaper Circle in the final months of her pregnancy and found a supportive, fun and informed group. This resource has made her family's decision to cloth diaper relatively simple and very rewarding. She has helped many local families get into cloth and has gained an understanding of some of the questions and concerns families have when making a choice. She grew up in Scotland where she studied a Masters in Fine Art. She developed her career in non-profit and business management in Northern Ireland, where she received Diplomas in International Business and Social Enterprise. Moving to the US in 2010, Zoe worked for a B Corporation and developed a passion for building meaningful and supportive relationships in all areas of her life. She is a part-time grant writer in the field of health equality and access in her local area and is the RDA's Community Resource Director nationally---and sometimes internationally.
Angela Torres began cloth diapering her oldest at 18 months when she started showing signs of toilet learning because someone said 'if you put her in cloth she will learn faster.' That was all the motivation needed to make a change. Memories of carefully pinning flats on her baby sister came flooding back. Two more children, two overseas moves, and lots of travel later gave Angela a whole new perspective on cloth diapers. She was approached to co-found a cloth diaper group while living in Heidelberg, Germany, and has since become a Circle Leader and founded the Real Diaper Circle of Northern Virginia. Angela is also a doula, breastfeeding counselor, and childbirth educator. Educating her colleagues in the birth community about cloth diapers is her current mission to ensure more birthing families are aware of coth diapering benefits.
Elizabeth Pilgrim is a mother of three whose love of cloth began before the birth of her second child. She made the change to cloth to protect her children from the chemicals found in disposable diapers. She opened The Changing Table, a home and web-based cloth diaper store, in 2009 with a friend to introduce cloth diapers to parents in Oklahoma City. In 2011, Elizabeth founded Cloth Diaper Oklahoma, a non-profit diaper bank and education organization, and became a Real Diaper Circle Leader for central Oklahoma. Elizabeth is a licensed CPA and has a BA in Mass Communications and an MSA from Oklahoma City University.
Janice Roodsari began searching for an environmentally friendly diapering option when she learned she was expecting twins. After the birth of her twins in 2009, she quickly realized that it was better for the health of her babies and for her budget to make the switch from biodegradable disposable diapers to 100% reusable cloth diapers. Because there were no local resources to learn about cloth diapers, Janice became a Certified Real Diaper Circle Leader to help other parents learn about the benefits of cloth. Janice has a BA in Philosophy and worked as a Registered Nurse prior to the birth of her twins. Janice is passionate about both cloth diapers and birth advocacy and is working on becoming a childbirth educator.
Lori Taylor runs two cloth diaper manufacturing businesses, Fuzbaby and Firefly Diapers. She is also a writer, social activist, cultural historian, and university teacher. Lori has a straightforward, yet respectful, approach in communication making her perfect for articulating the heart of the RDA philosophy. Her children have left their beautiful cloth diapers behind them. Lori is also a Founder of the Real Diaper Industry Association, the cloth diaper industry trade association.
Marie DiCocco was first introduced to cloth diapering when she was 8 years old and helped diaper her younger brother. At 14, she continued her cloth diaper journey when her younger sister was born. She became a staunch environmentalist during her college years, so when she was pregnant with her daughter, she didn't even consider disposable diapers as a possibility. Prior to becoming a mother, Marie managed the computer network for the Arlington County Government in Arlington, Virginia. She is now a work-at-home mother who owns an online fabric store, is active in a local food co-op, in addition to homeschooling her daughter, and teaching traditional Italian dance with her husband around the country.
Rachel Dove became involved with her local San Diego County Real Diaper Circle several years ago, before starting her own cloth diaper business. Her heart is in educating and empowering families to use cloth diapers, and her business, Rock Easy Diaper Company, began to serve the community's needs in that area. By conducting regular face-to-face Circle meetings, Rachel has educated and supporting hundreds of North County San Diego Families, turning a small group into a thriving community. After leading in her community for several years, Rachel joined the Board of the Real Diaper Association in 2013, where she helps guide volunteer programs to help others lead their communities like she leads her own. When not leading the cloth diaper movement, Rachel can be found homeschooling her two active (out-of-diapers!) boys.
Sara Moore, in June of 2010, felt the obligation to other mothers to provide a resource for cloth diapering. She knew that cloth diapering was gaining interest, but that online research was overwhelming and turned many famlies away from using cloth. There needed to be a place for families to come talk, touch and learn about cloth diapers. From that Ju-Ju Monkey was born. Wanting to offer her community more, Sara joined the Real Diaper Association and Real Diaper Industry Association in 2010. She became an accredited leader for Lehigh Valley Diaper Circle in 2013. Sara is currently serving on the board of both organizations and is supporting their mission to get more babies in cloth.
Emily Kuhn is mother to 3 boys, all of whom have been cloth diapered from their first few days of life. A teacher at heart, having taught K/1 for 7 years and earning a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, Emily has been teaching classes on cloth diapering benefits and options since her first child was a few months old. When her family moved to a more rural area in Ohio, her focus shifted to diaper need awareness. Currently she operates a cloth diaper lending bank and teaches classes in conjunction with local social services. Seeing a need in her community for more support and education around cloth diapering, Emily began her journey to become an RDA circle leader in 2015 and established The Real Diaper Circle of Butler County.
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