The FAMU student organization #FreeThePeriod aims to make the university a more inclusive campus by normalizing conversations around menstruation. It also wants to make menstrual products more easily accessible, and educate students on women’s health and hygiene.
The club was initially started as an initiative in January 2022 to get free sanitary products in all restrooms across campus. As more students wanted to join the cause, #FreeThePeriod was officially made a club this fall. The major objectives are to provide products to those in need and to educate all students about menstruation.
Kimora Williams, a third-year psychology major, is the founder and president of #FreeThePeriodFAMU. Williams, who started a non-profit called Hand-in-Hand Empowerment, spoke on why she was inspired to start the club.
“It began as an idea with my nonprofit. At first, I was going to do a drive for menstrual products, and the more I thought about it, I wanted to find a way to permanently incorporate it into the school,” Williams said.
Williams also noticed that menstrual products were not included in the regular hygiene items FAMU regularly supplies in its restrooms. Williams stressed the importance of her mission to eventually make feminine hygiene products included in the regular sanitary products bought by the school.
“Something I see in the future is to receive funding from the school for menstrual products as it is a hygiene item,” Williams said.
Jordan McCrary, a third-year psychology major, serves as vice president of the club.
McCrary previously worked with an organization called the Purse Project to distribute menstruation products.
“I feel like the most successful thing we’ve done as an organization is consistently keep menstrual products in the bathrooms,” McCrary said.
Shantel Taylor, a third-year accounting major who previously served as the finance chair, shared her personal mission of being a part of #FreeThePeriod.
“I want to spread awareness to a vast population of people and to create a safer space for women to speak about menstruation and how it affects them,” Taylor said. “It’s a subject that needs to be destigmatized, and I’m hoping as a part of this organization, we can accomplish that.”
Taylor also touched on some of the measures the organization is taking to make sure free menstrual products are available in FAMU restrooms.
“I distributed hygiene products in the bathrooms across campus as well as organized different events for people to come out and talk about women’s health,” Taylor said.
#FreeThePeriod is at the forefront of the fight for women’s empowerment and the destigmatization of women’s health issues at FAMU.