Celebrate Black History Month with The Pad Project and Uplift Black Menstruators Across the US!
This Black History Month, The Pad Project will be lending our platform to two of our Ambassadors, Asia and Laila Brown, as they shine a light on Black menstruators and their experiences in the menstrual equity space. Black menstrual equity activists and non-profit organizations are typically overlooked in the mainstream white period equity space. We have worked with Asia and Laila to put together a month of content to shed light on racism in the menstrual equity space, taboos surrounding menstruation in the Black community, and menstruation-related issues such as fibroids and PCOS that disproportionately impact Black women.
Check out our social media channels to hear firsthand accounts of Black menstruators speaking on discrimination, menstrual taboos in the Black community, medical racism, lack of access to proper medical care, and more. All of this will be culminating in a panel discussion featuring some of the leading Black voices in the menstrual equity space, including activists, doctors, and educators. Pre-register for the event here!
This month, we will be directing all of our fundraising efforts toward four organizations that are run by Black menstruators, for Black menstruators. The Pad Project will be matching up to $1250 in donations to each organization. Keep reading to see all the amazing work they do in their communities, and consider contributing so that we can double our impact!
Organizations We're Spotlighting
No More Secrets
Lynette Medley, founder of NMS, is a dedicated and highly skilled sexual awareness educator and counselor with 15+ years of experience in the areas of sexuality, behavioral health, education, religion, and advocacy. No More Secrets is a mother and daughter team who have personally suffered from the humiliation of period poverty and grappled with menstrual insecurities after the incarceration of their ex-husband and father. They have now dedicated their entire lives to fighting this epidemic head-on by traveling through the perilous streets of Philadelphia personally delivering thousands of menstrual products every week to desperate women and girls throughout the Philly and surrounding areas. In 2020 alone, they provided 2 million period care products to those experiencing period poverty.
#HappyPeriod works to spread awareness on menstrual health, eliminate the stigma surrounding menstruation, and provide menstruators with options that are good for their wallet, their body, and the planet. They believe that to manage menstruation, education and access to safe products are essential. They focus on helping anyone with a period that has low income, is experiencing homelessness, or lives in poverty. Using social media to spread awareness on the initiative, Chelsea VonChaz, founder, and her friends put on the first #HappyPeriod gathering on February 8, 2015, passing out kits in the Skidrow area of Downtown Los Angeles. In its first year, the nonprofit became a movement, forming chapters across the U.S., including New York City, Atlanta, Miami, San Diego, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.
Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund
The Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund, located in Jackson, MS, fights for reproductive justice in Mississippi and offers financial assistance and practical support to persons seeking abortions, free emergency contraception, and community based comprehensive sex education. They strive for a world where every person experiences full reproductive justice. In 2019 MRFF began to also provide period care products as a part of their comprehensive reproductive justice services. They partner with the Homeless Period Project to donate a minimum of 1000 tampons and 1000 pads per year to their program, helping them double their impact in Jackson.
Love Your Menses
Love Your Menses is committed to ending period stigma in Black and Brown communities through community conversations, health education, resource connection, and mentorship. They provide a platform for girls and young women of color to become more aware of their bodies and to embrace the transition from pre-puberty to puberty. Their goal is to create a safe, uplifting, and supportive space to dispel myths surrounding menstruation while empowering young people to love their menses.
Meet Asia and Laila Brown
Asia Brown (she/her/hers) is a sophomore Comparative Women’s Studies major at Spelman College from Vicksburg, MS. Asia is passionate about reproductive justice and aspires to be a nurse-midwife and open a birth center. Asia is a fellow for In Our Own Voice: Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda’s Next Generation Leadership Institute and receives reproductive justice advocacy training. Asia became an ambassador for The Pad Project in 2020 because she is passionate about the way period poverty and stigma impacts Black menstruators. Asia hopes to shed light on the experiences of Black menstruators through this initiative.
Laila Brown (she/her/hers) is a sophomore at Warren Central High School in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Laila is a passionate advocate, a proud member of The Pad Project Ambassador Program, a Fellow for the Homegirl Project, and a Teen Health Mississippi’s MS Youth Councilmember. As a member of the Mississippi Youth Council, Laila advocates for comprehensive, holistic sex education in Mississippi Public Schools and organizes in support of Teen Health’s sex education bill. As a Pad Project Ambassador, Laila hopes to spread awareness of the harms of period stigma, organize in her community against menstrual inequity, and uplift the work of Black activists in the menstrual equity movement.
Thank you to our other Ambassador Program members who are helping with this event! Abigail Suleman, Catherine Chan, and Andrea Malagón
Thank you for standing with and supporting Black Menstruators, this month, and always!