The World's Fastest Growing Youth-Run NGO: Period. The Menstrual Movement
Every year in New York City, "Period." a not for profit American network runs their annual "PERIOD. Con". This event brings hundreds of students from all over the U.S. together in order to eliminate stigmas surrounding menstruation. The purpose of this conference along with eliminating stigmas is to also celebrate menstruation, educate the public on period poverty, and to advocate for the availability of menstrual products in public places for people of all genders.
"Period." is the world’s largest youth-run not for profit organization and was founded in 2014, by Nadya Okamoto and Vincent Foranda. After realizing the many difficulties surrounding obtaining menstrual product faced by youth; these two set out to help make these products more readily available to those in need. This organization has already served over 400,000 menstruators and is registered in 230 different schools in the U.S. and abroad.
The organization’s mission is to “celebrate periods and provide products to those in need”. They adhere to this statement by delivering period packs to vulnerable populations, working towards ending the stigmas that surround periods through education of high school, college and community members, and by advocating for better accessibility of menstrual products to all of those in need. Each chapter is centralized around one general area or program and there are over 250 chapters across the U.S. and Canada. For more information on upcoming chapters near you please visit here.
This year’s two day event was held on January 27th and 28th at the Union Park Events centre in New York City, and included lunch, a swag bag consisting of pads, tampons, DivaCups, hats, stickers, pens. Along with all of this free gear there were also many thought provoking workshops, and speeches from leaders and prominent figures. Many enjoy this engaging and interacting event and some of the workshops go as far as educating attendees on how to use a DivaCup.
Among the many speakers was Wendy Davis, a former Texas State Senator and founder of "Deeds Not Words", an organization that advocates for such things as gender equality, and equal representation of women in politics. Davis was the one to lead the 13 hour filibuster on a bill that would have changed abortion rights for women in the state of Texas. Needless to say, there were some impressive speakers that attended this year’s annual "Period Con" and with the growing expansion of the "Period." organization next year’s should be just as engaging.