Go With the Flow: Because Menstruation Should Not Stop Education. Period.
Last year, Jonathan Van Ness interviewed Rayka Zehtabchi about her award-winning documentary Period. End of Sentence. on his Getting Curious podcast. Her fantastic interview led me straight to Netflix to watch the documentary, and I was (unsurprisingly) moved to tears by this inspirational and empowering film about a group of women in rural India achieving economic freedom by manufacturing and selling sanitary pads. I felt an immediate call to action, but I had no idea what that should be. After all, I can't travel to a foreign country and teach women to make their own sanitary pads. I couldn't do that here, either. But this is America, right? We can all just drop by the drugstore down the street and buy menstrual hygiene products whenever we need to. True, the price is a little higher than you think it should be. And seriously, sales tax? On something I need? But we all have access to menstrual hygiene products, right?
Wrong. Seriously wrong.
I was recently introduced to Demetra Presley through my Venture Devils Mentor, Tisha Marie Pelletier. A few years ago, Demetra found out that many teachers buy menstrual hygiene products at their own expense to give to the students they teach. Why? Because many students don't have another way to get them. In fact, one in five students in the U.S. misses school because they do not have access to menstrual hygiene products.
Yeah, seriously wrong. The potential of inadequate hygiene, the injustice of gender-based educational discrimination, the stress and anxiety felt by students, families, educators.... We need to do something!
Well, Demetra did something. She started Go With the Flow, a nonprofit organization that has provided menstrual hygiene products to schools throughout Phoenix, Tuscon, and neighboring areas. Go With the Flow has a simple, logical, core belief that no student should have to miss school or compromise their dignity because their bodies are engaging in a normal, healthy function such as menstruation!
Go With the Flow has definitely made an impact. They have donated over 20,000 period packs to schools, and they have continued their work through the pandemic by proving period products to organizations that support youth, refugee, homeless, indigenous, and rural communities. (Check them out on Instagram to see all their great work!)
Through the end of June, Empower Coffee Roasters will be donating 5% of all revenues to Go With the Flow to support their work to provide menstrual hygiene products to students in our community. That means your purchases will go directly towards helping students stay healthy and receive the education they deserve.
So, what else can you do?
- Tell people about Go With the Flow!
- Follow Go With the Flow on Instagram and Facebook!
- Donate or volunteer!
- Treat Yo' Self to raffle tickets for some great prizes! (You might see some familiar coffee there!)
Thank you all for your support of this great and important cause!