October is a busy month – completing work before the holidays, getting out the vote (vote! vote! vote!), ongoing advocacy initiatives, the list goes on! One thing is for certain: our coalition works hard to take every opportunity to gather, learn, and re-energize.
On October 24, we were able to do so at the first-ever National Summit for Period Leadership, hosted by the Alliance for Period Supplies. Our coalition was lucky to have organizers and advocates from all over the US attend this event – hosted in our very own capital city #ATL! Alongside the other 100+ attendees, we were able to learn talking points and best practices from organizations who have been busy advocating for and meeting the basic hygienic needs of those in their communities.
We were able to learn about how organizations approach distributing products in institutions, like schools or homeless shelters, and how researchers at UNC are addressing the dearth of studies present in the literature about anything related to menstruation or access to period supplies. We learned that there’s really a difference between feminine hygiene products and menstrual hygiene products when used academically (products used for douching vs. products used to manage periods, respectively). We also learned about poverty as a whole, including temporary or situational poverty, something many of our fellow Georgians are unfortunately experiencing in the wake of the recent Hurricanes. Particularly of interest to our group was how poverty makes managing one’s period even more difficult – in ways you wouldn’t necessarily expect!
After the summit, we sat down as a group with some leaders in the space working to #EndPeriodPoverty. One of the most beautiful parts of advocacy work, we are finding, is the amount of help organizations are willing to give one another to in order to change the status quo. We surely wouldn’t be where we are as a coalition without it!
We look forward to updating you after our Georgia STOMP stakeholders meet in November to plan for our upcoming year. Until then, Happy Fall Y’all!