Becky Fein, MPH grew up in the small town of Monte Rio, California, and has been involved with the field of sexual health from her teenage years. The topics of sexual health, women’s rights, and reproductive justice were the pervasive themes of her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Davis. Her passion for the broad topic of sexual health education led her to pursue a Master’s degree of Public Health with an emphasis in reproductive health at Columbia University in New York City. Becky brings an enthusiasm for the written word, her experience in research and social outreach, and an academic background in sexual health to the project at hand.
Frances McCorkle, originally from Sebastopol, California, is the artist, photographer, and videographer of the duo. Frances, having studied visual-journalism at Brooks Institute of Photography in Ventura, CA, brings a passion for the power of media and the art of documentary making to the project. Her artistic abilities have been honed from a very young age as a painter and she realized her enthusiasm for photography as she began to understand the powerful impact that the art of imagery can have on specific social and political messages.
Although the two grew up in neighboring towns, they did not meet until their early 20s through a shared national service experience with CalSERVES Americorps in Santa Rosa, California. Becoming fast friends, Frances and Becky began an ongoing discussion about the state of sexual assault in our society: their own experiences, the media portrayal of the issue, the challenge that they were faced with in trying to talk about it, even with one another, and the ingrained, yet unjust, shame that they felt just for having had these experiences in their own pasts.
Finding this out about each other, and recognizing the healing that they felt just by talking about the experience with one another, they decided to join the sexual assault prevention, counseling, and support efforts of the local rape crisis center. Together they became certified crisis line counselors and spent hours on the phone with other survivors who were processing their experiences of trauma and sexual assault. The inspiration the two gained from those conversations and their own continued deliberations led them to the creation of The Journey of Powerful Voices, a film project intended to lift the shame and self-blame of the sexual assault experience that so many women and men share, and encourage more open and honest discourse around the issue.
The two are excited and proud to bring together the passion they share and the complimenting skills that they have to bring this important documentary to fruition.
- Andrea Johnston is an expert who consults and writes about helping individuals
as well as bringing people together no matter where or how they live; in defining
goals, finding common ground, overcoming challenges, and celebrating differences
and strengths. She is writing on Look Forward because Andrea believes, as her own
divorce showed her, that women in transition can reshape their lives to be whom
they always wanted to be, and she wants to encourage women to find and showcase
their true selves.
Andrea is a recognized writer, activist, consultant and speaker who was
instrumental in creating and addressing the first forum for girls in the UN General
Assembly as part of her mission to expand the places where females belong. After
her divorce, she earned a law degree at night. and left classroom teaching when
she and Gloria Steinem co-founded Girls Speak Out®, an educational organization
working with girls and their supporters on five continents (www.girlsspeakout.org).
Its latest project is Ask Me A ?/Girls4GirlsWorldwide that will create an online,
video library of girls describing how they will improve girls’ lives in their
- Debra Kalmuss, a sociologist and social worker, is a professor of Population and Family Health in the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. Intimate partner violence has been a longstanding interest of hers. Prior to completing her graduate training she worked at a wife abuse shelter in Michigan. She has done research and published a series of papers on IPV and sexual coercion. She also has worked with women’s shelters to help them conduct needs assessments and evaluations of their services. Finally she has worked with clinical colleagues in the departments of OB/GYN and Pediatrics at the Columbia University Medical Center to incorporate routine screening for IPV into their clinical protocols. Dr. Kalmuss has expertise in both qualitative and quantitative research skills as well as program development and evaluation. She will enthusiastically contribute her expertise to this project.
Dr. Mayowa Obasaju
- Mayowa Obasaju, PhD is a clinical and community trained, trauma focused psychologist at Barnard College. Her professonal and research passion center around systemic, clinical and community based approaches to trauma intervention and prevention, interpersonal, relational, and community violence with a focus on childhood sexual abuse, sexual assault, and work with women of color, and transformative and social justice. She is involved in numerous community based organizations in the New York City in areas of sexual assault prevention, reproductive justice, and social service provision. She serves on the board of the Journey of Powerful Voices project in an advisory capacity in the area of interview question development in the context of trauma dynamics. She is happy to contribute in support of this project.
- Rob Henry is a producer and director based out of Los Angeles and has had a hand in a half dozen feature films, hundreds of hours of television and created his own series. His role on the advisory board is to aid, abet and facilitate the filmmakers and process with 24/7 technical and creative support specific to their filmmaking needs. This will include consultations on any and all technical questions and challenges. Additionally, he’ll devise with the filmmakers an optimized production and post-production media acquisition workflow for the project and proper protection and archiving of the stories they document on their journey.
- Dianne Marshall is a member of the California Association of Drug Court Professionals Board of Directors for whom she serves as secretary, conference planner and web manager. Currently, Ms. Marshall is focusing on the establishment of the California Collaborative Justice Courts Foundation for the state of California to fund participant and staff development needs through the use local or private financial support. Ms. Marshall is founder and president of the Board of Directors for the Foundation. Throughout her experience in human services and administration, Ms. Marshall has been keenly aware of role of violence in the family and in the home. She is glad to be a part of The Journey of Powerful Voices as it brings attention to a problem that can be solved especially if it comes out of the shadows.
- As an advisory board member of the Journey of Powerful Voices project, Sandra Maresca brings to her role more than 40 years of personal experience and perspective involving the historic evolution of women’s and individual rights in American society. During her 14-year teaching career and 22 years in the corporate world, she witnessed firsthand the psychological and professional damage of sexual abuse as well as the subsequent benefits of legislation protecting against sexual discrimination and harassment. Her diverse background attracted the attention of United Against Sexual Assault (now Verity, Sonoma County’s 24-hour hotline and support system for victims of sexual abuse), where she served for four years on the board of directors. Sandra holds an undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and graduate degrees from UCLA and Pepperdine University. She and her husband Jim have three adult children and live in Guerneville, CA.
- Kristin Thurman has served in many roles of community activism from the Chamber of Commerce and Community Foundations to the local School Board and West County Community Service nonprofit human service agency. She has lived on the Russian River in Sonoma County for more than 30 years where she raised her family and worked out of her home. She is experienced in policy making, fund development and human resources and hopes to serve the Journey of Powerful Voices in any and all aspects of the daily challenges a project like this can and will confront. Kristin is available as needed and is proud to have a role in this endeavor.