Period.MN: Let's Help Our Community Go With the Flow

 

 

This semester, Period.MN was established here on the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus, and with a motto statement like, "PERIOD.MN’s core pillars are education, advocacy, and service. Our organization aims to raise awareness of menstrual inequities, destigmatize periods, and advocate for increased access to sustainable, menstrual care products within the Twin Cities area," I needed to know more. So, the founders of this innovative organization were kind enough to give us some insight into what spurred their group's founding, to share some of their goals with us and provide tips for getting involved! 

 

How did your group get started?

In 2014, high school students Nadya Okamoto and Vincent Forand cofounded PERIOD, which has grown to become a national, youth-run nonprofit with over a hundred chapters in high schools, universities and communities all over the country. The summer of 2017, Gaby Haire caught wind of the organization and wanted to get involved. She shared the movement with her friend, Olivia Myers, and the two decided to start a Period chapter on the University of Minnesota campus. Jennifer Day, Yasmeen Saad and Savannah Simms quickly joined the movement and the five officially installed the chapter in August—leading the menstrual movement up north to the land of the gophers.

What are your group’s goals?

Period.MN’s main goal is to reduce inequalities and stigma surrounding menstruation. We hope to increase access to sustainable menstrual care products by fulfilling the product needs of several shelters in our area. Additionally, we want to increase conversation around menstruation to destigmatize and normalize the period and make it a more comfortable topic for all!

 

What upcoming activities or events will your group be hosting or a part of?

In the near future, we'll be launching a sale of various PERIOD.MN merchandise and clothing, so follow us to stay up on the release so that you don’t miss out on awesome PERIOD swag. We are also working on planning an event to provide education on menstruation and provide for discussion about its inequities: stay tuned!

 

How does this group want to contribute to the community on campus or greater Twin-Cities area?

We want to contribute to the Twin-Cities area by providing period products to our partners who work directly with surrounding communities in need. We also intend on holding educational events and lobby for policy change that will reduce stigma surrounding menstruation and reduce menstrual inequity overall.

 

How does one get involved with your organization?

We meet every other Wednesday at 7:00 pm in Fraser Hall 102 and our meetings are open to menstruators and non-menstruators alike! We put all of our meetings up as a Facebook event to help everyone keep the days straight. You can also subscribe to our email list to get meeting agendas and weekly recaps at periodmn.org

 

Need-to-knows for getting involved in your group? 

We’re a brand new student group, and we’re really excited for what we can accomplish as the first and only menstrual health-centered student group on campus. Right now, we are in a collaborative stage where we are meeting with other individuals who want to work toward menstrual equity on campus. We’ve been having group discussions and brainstorming ideas for potential sponsors and fundraising events during our meetings! We have committees that will be working under our Executive Board, including ones focusing on education, communications, events and sponsorship.

If you’re interested in building something impactful from the ground-up, want leadership experience, or are just interested in learning more, we really encourage you to join us at our meetings. They're very casual, and everyone is welcome. This semester is really just our jumping-off point, and we foresee our meetings including regular discussions and brainstorming and committee time. This is new to everyone, so we’re all in the same boat! There's more information available on our website and social media pages, otherwise you can contact our President, Gaby Haire ([email protected]) with more specific questions. To keep up with Period.MN, follow them on instagram @period.mn and like their Facebook page