Big Mommas & Special Helpers

The Be-Musing Mommas (Steering Committee):

Heather Corinna: All Girl Army founder, lead organizer and designer Heather Corinna has been working to dream up, deliver and promote content and unique communities for women on the web for close to ten years. She began by founding the first sexuality site on the web for women, by women, in 1998, and founded Scarleteen.com, one of the first and most widely used sexuality education and empowerment sites for young adults, which currently serves over 10,000 users internationally, of all genders and orientations, each day. In addition to being an Internet pioneer, grassroots organizer, sexuality educator and rabblerouser extraordinaire, she is also a visual artist working primarily in photography, with a focus on women's issues, personal identity, body image, sexuality, and the juxtaposition of the natural and industrial worlds. Heather's work of all sorts has been mentioned by The Chicago Tribune, The Minneapolis City Pages, The Utne Reader, SIECUS, The Kinsey Institute, The San Francisco Gate, The San Francisco Weekly, The Austin Chronicle, The Boston Phoenix, Flare, Shift magazine, The Village Voice, Salon, Hip Mama, Estroclick , The Oxygen Network and other publications. Her first solo book, the inclusive, feminist young adult sexuality guide, S.E.X. (spelling out all you need to know about your sexuality), will be released by Marlowe & Co./the Avalon Publishing Group in April, 2007.

Heather's background in social activism literally began at birth, when she had to show up to stand up earlier than scheduled. Her mother's labor was induced to enable a getaway to help prevent her father's arrest for draft resistance, and was nurtured in childhood as she often provided an effective last-ditch, wee raised-fist, freckle-faced one-two punch when adult activists and protestors couldn't sway the unswayable.

Following graduation from acclaimed The Chicago Academy for the Arts, and three years at Shimer College focusing on English visionary artist, author and philosopher William Blake, sociology and women's sexuality and spirituality, she spent nearly a decade working in alternative and early childhood education, and is a trained Montessori teacher. She also spent several years simultaneously selling green things that are good for you at Chicago cooperatives and Illinois farmer's markets before beginning work on the Internet as an independent publisher, author, artist and educator. Like most women, she has had more odd jobs than you can shake a stick at, and many of them have been really odd. In the five minutes of spare time she carves out each day if she's lucky, Heather enjoys boxing, gardening, cooking vegetarian delights, biking, the bi-weekly women's gatherings she organizes, sitting in front of the wood stove, Buffy-marathons, hooping, whooping it up, reading until her eyes fall out, kicking butt and taking names. (All of which are really difficult to fit into five minutes.)

She is currently based in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle with her partner, her cat, and a painfully cute pug.

Jenny L.: Co-founder Jenny L. is a doctoral student in Political Science at the University of Minnesota, specializing in International Relations, Political Theory, and Feminist Theory. An active feminist since her petition drive for girl altar servers at age ten, Jenny pursues women- and gender-centered questions in her academic work as well, and is currently researching the traffic in women from Eastern Europe to the European Union. Never straying too far from her ivory tower, Jenny also teaches standardized test preparation and at leadership camps for high school students, and does freelance writing and web design.

During her occassional escapes from the academy, Jenny enjoys traveling, Middle Eastern dance, watching American football, arts and crafts, folk music, and procrastinating while on the Internet. She is a proud Big Sister in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program (http://www.bbbs.org), and spends a fair amount of time haranguing others to volunteer with the program as well. Having spent a large amount of time teaching, mentoring, and singing along to the radio with teenage girls, Jenny is excited about helping to create and maintain a community with the All Girl Army in which girls can express themselves and support one another as they determine what feminism will mean to their generation.

Becca Nelson: Co-founder Becca Nelson is a business woman with a passion for long talks about politics and women’s issues. When she was in the 5th grade, Becca signed up for floor hockey through her elementary school’s after-school community education program. While she didn’t really notice that she was one of the very few girls in the after-school floor hockey league, she found out years later that her mother had had a stern talking to with the community education coordinator who tried to convince her that floor hockey was for boys. Becca finished out the floor hockey season and went on to participate in activities as varied as cross-country running, theater, band and speech. At the age of 16, Becca cemented her independence by studying in Germany for 3 months as an exchange student. Throughout these years, Becca never even noticed that she was supported, and even encouraged, to forge her own path.

After one year of college in Indianapolis, IN, Becca moved back to Minneapolis, MN and attended Augsburg College, intending to major in International Relations, German and Russian. To fulfill her English Literature requirement, she took a course titled “Women and Fiction.” From here on out, she was hooked on conversations and debates about women in our world and added a minor in Women’s Studies, with a special interest in women and economics, to her schedule. She graduated magna cum laude from Augsbug with a BA in German, Economics-Business Administration and a minor in Women’s Studies. After 2 years of full-time work in business, Becca returned to school and completed her MBA in Strategic Management and Information & Decision Sciences at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, where she was named Outstanding Student in Strategic Management.

Becca currently works full time for a medical device company, doing Organizational Change Management work. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, cycling, running, competing in local triathlons, going to the theater, reading trashy fantasy novels, eating good food, speaking German to unsuspecting foreigners, taking her dog on long walks, going up north, spending time talking with friends and being with her husband.

Jeyoani Wildflower: Co-founder Jeyoani was raised by babies, boys and born again Christians in 1975, 3rd in a row of 11 children. Like most girls in big families the world over, she played Little Mama from ages 7-21. Her life was one of constant cleaning, helping with meals and laundry, and being both playmate and caretaker to her eight younger siblings. Somehow she found her way into feminism even though she was raised very sheltered and homeschooled, in a very cult-like subculture of Christianity in which she was taught that she must always be under her father's authority til she married... at which time she would be under her husband's authority.

Try as she might this "obeying" stuff would not settle with her. At 13 she was a skirts and headcovering-wearing closet feminist hiding her feminist articles under her mattress.

To Jeyoani, feminism is the way you live every day. It is about being the most un-shamefaced woman you can dare be. It is considering and respecting all women, from all over the globe, from every walk of life. It is being aware of how we are all connected and responsible for one another. What is important to her in this life is to be appreciative of every moment. She is into mysticism, music and dancing. She is nothing but a bozo in love with all the other bozos on this planet as we plod our way into infinity.

Thanks to Hope Larson for our fantastic logo illustration.

And special thanks to: Joyce Heckman, Lauren Bacon, Emira Mears, Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff, Caroline Dodge, and all of the fantastic people we've had in our lives who have served as our feminist mentors, mothers, sisters and allies.

An extra-special thanks to Garrett Coakley, for saving the day by helping this Army to set up the swankiest barracks ever.