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About Us

The Body Positive teaches people how to overcome conflicts with their bodies so they can lead happier, more productive lives. We are dedicated to inspiring youth and adults to value their health, unique beauty, and identity so they can use their vital resources of time, energy, and intellect to make positive changes in their own lives and in the world.

We deliver our Be Body Positive Model through:

Because of the generosity of our supporters, we made great strides in 2014. Here are some highlights from our work this past year:

  • We released Embody: Learning to Love Your Unique Body (and quiet that critical voice!) at a launch party at Stanford University on June 1st. Proceeds from sales of 500 books purchased through a gift from a longtime supporter have gone into our scholarship fund. Sales on Amazon and other online outlets continue to expand rapidly in addition to purchases directly from us.
  • In our research project with Stanford University, we trained 21 student leaders to run 5 eight-week support groups. Final results will be published this year.
  • We conducted six Body Positive leadership trainings in California, Colorado, Florida, and Washington, D.C. for 140 student and school staff leaders. 55 student leaders received scholarships.
  • Nearly 100 people attended six Be Body Positive workshops for the general public in Berkeley and Seattle, including four on full scholarships and 18 receiving partial scholarships.
  • We reached: 400 health professionals through our new online Body Positive Psychotherapy course and in-person events; 750 parents, educators, and students through community gatherings, and many individuals heard our message through TV, internet, and print media.

This year we will greatly expand our reach as we work to end the harmful consequences of negative body image: eating disorders, depression, anxiety, cutting, suicide, substance abuse, and relationship violence. We are especially concerned about poor body image in teens and young adults. With the inspiration and skills provided by The Body Positive, those who work with us are free to live balanced, joyful, and purposeful lives, and surmount the major obstacles to achieving their academic goals and healthy relationships.

Founders

Connie Sobczak and Elizabeth Scott, LCSW, founded The Body Positive in 1996 because of their shared passion to create a lively, healing community that offers freedom from suffocating societal messages that keep people in a perpetual struggle with their bodies. Elizabeth has been practicing psychotherapy for 25 years, specializing in eating disorders treatment. She is committed to The Body Positive’s work because it brings great meaning to her life when she can help people leave body hatred behind and become free to focus on their precious life purpose. Connie’s experience with an eating disorder in her teen years and the death of her sister Stephanie inspired her life’s work to improve the self-image of youth and adults. She founded The Body Positive in honor of her sister, and to ensure that her daughter Carmen and other children would grow up in a new world—one where people focus on changing the world, not their bodies.

Board of Directors

Adam Davis is a specialist in environmental investment and the financial value of natural systems. He is a partner in Ecosystem Investment Partners. Adam is also the president of Solano Partners, Inc., a consulting firm focused on environmental investment and conservation finance issues. A father of daughters now 21 and 17, he is passionate about The Body Positive’s mission and will assist the organization in the areas of financial planning, grant applications, and fiscal management.

Jessica Diaz began working with The Body Positive as a high school peer leader in 2001. Since then she has worked with The Body Positive to create curricula, develop and facilitate peer leadership trainings, write blogs, and participate in video projects. Additionally, Jessica represents the organization through speaking engagements and workshops nationwide. She recently graduated from San Francisco State University in the Master's of Social Work program. She holds a B.A. in politics, legal studies, and music from the University of San Francisco, is a bilingual Spanish speaker, and is an avid dancer and singer.

Kelle Jacobs began working with The Body Positive as a workshop participant in 2011. Since then she has worked to raise funding to bring The Body Positive’s peer leadership program to her local school district, and has provided support for organizing administrative tasks and marketing strategy. With twin 9-year-old daughters, she sees The Body Positive’s mission as a cornerstone of the world she wants her girls to inhabit. She earned a BA in finance from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from St. Mary’s College of California. After spending more than twenty years in the financial services industry and independent consulting, Kelle joined the staff at the University of California, Berkeley in 2012 to support change in systems and processes that improve the student experience.

Anastasia Sheldon has a long history in the healthcare industry, starting with a massage practice in the mid 1980s and then as a Licensed Feldenkrais Practitioner. She developed a nonprofit clinic treating patients with chronic illnesses and women in recovery from breast cancer treatment. Anastasia currently lives and works in Marin with two beautiful teenage daughters Grace and Aliyah and her lovely husband, Jay Trimble. Since 2007, she has been a Realtor, and is currently with Marin Modern Real Estate in San Rafael. Anastasia believes The Body Positive offers a message whose time has come. She is excited to move the cultural conversation away from “What’s wrong with me?” to “This is my beauty!”

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