The Real Diaper Association 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. Heather will implement projects and programs under the committed leadership of Board members and organizers, Lori Taylor, Angela Imes, Marie DiCocco, and Heather Bradley. 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; and Janice Roodsari in 2014.
◊ Angela Torres, Chairperson
◊ Lori Taylor, Vice-Chairperson & Faithkeeper
◊ Angela Imes, Treasurer
◊ Rachel Dove, Secretary
◊ Elizabeth Pilgrim
◊ Heather Bradley
◊ Marie DiCocco
◊ Sara Moore
◊ Janice Roodsari
◊ 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
For RDA Members, and those considering membership, an online record of Executive Committee and Board Meeting Minutes are maintained, as well as the organization's Bylaws.
Board & Executive Committee Summaries of Minutes
◊ 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 and Angelique Mullen, for more than 2000 hours of volunteered time and experience as Founders, Board members, and organizers 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.
Angela Imes was drawn to cloth diapering by concern regarding environmental sustainability. Although she is relatively new to the cloth diapering experience, her positive experience cloth diapering her twin daughters has given her a passion for educating other about the benefits and ease of cloth diapering. In addition to getting involved with advocacy through RDA, Angela is working toward opening her own cloth diapering business in the future. She is a licensed CPA in the state of Texas and has a BS/MS in Accounting from the University of North Texas. Angela also has experience working with other causes in her community including a women's shelter, community garden, early education school and her local United Way chapter.
Heather Bradley is a military spouse and cloth diaper convert of three children. She began using cloth on her middle child because of a desire to make more earth-friendly choices. After struggling to find local support, Heather decided to start advocating for natural parenting practices in her community. First, she started teaching cloth diaper basics in the Seymour Johnson AFB New Parent Support's Parenting Your Newborn class. Then, Heather established the Real Diaper Circle of Wayne County in June 2010 which actively meets to support the needs of the cloth diapering community. She hopes to help create cloth diaper support and education for families that will continue even after she has departed to the next base. In addition to volunteering with the RDA, she is also a La Leche League leader, doula, and home educator. Her children are all diaper free now.
Heather McNamara is a mother of two in San Diego, California. Starting with the RDA as the San Diego County Real Diaper Circle Leader (which continues to thrive), she caught the cloth diaper advocacy bug. A year later, she signed on as the RDA's first Executive Director, where she's able to work regularly with the leading cloth diaper advocates in North America AND hundreds of passionate, dedicated grassroots volunteers who are helping families in their communities find and use reusable cloth diapers. This is Heather's fifth "career", with previous stints including project management, software quality assurance, nonprofit chapter management, and teaching, during which she developed many of the skills she uses at RDA today.
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.
Monique Bragg is the owner of Mama Momo, a cloth diaper education, parties, and services business. She is the mother of two and has cloth diapered both of them from almost day one. She plans to have her own official RDA circle in Charlottesville, Virginia, very soon. She has a BS in Mathematics and Secondary Education from Longwood University. She enjoys sewing cloth diapers and thinks about the possibility of making them for others when her children are older. She is very passionate about spreading the word about cloth diapers in any way she can.
Angela Torres began cloth diapering her oldest at 18 months when she started showing signs of toilet learning because she'd heard 'if you put her in cloth she will learn faster.' Two more children, two overseas moves, and lots of travel later, Angela has a completely changed perspective of cloth diapers and can't imagine babies without them. 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 NOVA Real Diaper Circle in Northern Virginia. Angela is also a doula, breastfeeding counselor, and childbirth educator. To her, it's all about the babies.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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