This Saturday, Miami will get its Period.
Nicky Dawkins of HypeGirls — the femme health website and South Florida's first chapter leader of the Period menstrual movement in Miami — will host a packing party and charity drive at the Wynwood Yard.
"I heard about the movement on Instagram and found out Period is a fantastic nonprofit that provides feminine health products to homeless women and low-income families," Dawkins says. "More importantly, they're also about advocacy and just for normalizing the period conversation."
Last year, Period and its supporters were able to persuade Gov. Rick Scott to repeal taxes on feminine hygiene products, a change that took effect in January. Agencies like Her.Period and others advocated for the tax repeal, making it so that tampons, pads, menstrual cups, and other products are deemed a necessity — as they should be.
HypeGirls and Period came together for the cause, Dawkins says, because she and other women of her community relate to the issues around menstruation, pregnancy, and other feminine topics.
"I realized when I got pregnant, no one was talking about all the things that happen to our body — the changes, natural remedies — so I decided to change the direction of my blog and focus on this for moms," Dawkins says.
Now Period has three other Florida chapters, including at Hialeah Senior High, Nova Southeastern University, and the University of Florida. The chapters aim to serve the community and concentrate on packing efforts such as the one in Wynwood this Saturday. Attendees are encouraged to bring unopened feminine hygiene products such as pads, tampons, liners, and menstrual cups.
HypeGirls is also requesting the help of volunteers to assemble the pieces in packs for donation and calling on natural brands to reach out to her for collaboration. She says one of the greatest challenges is for brands to improve the quality of feminine hygiene products and have them educate consumers on the importance of using quality and safe materials.
After Saturday's event, the goods will be donated to Lotus House and the Beauty Initiative Inc.
Macielle Betances, who works for HypeGirls, has been organizing the event with Dawkins. She says the Period movement and Saturday's drive are wins for Miami and its community.
"Through this event, we hope to achieve the continuance of this powerful conversation. Normalizing the period is just another layer of freedom to be our true and natural selves," Betances says. "Through normalization of this natural part of being, we can ultimately care for all people who menstruate by ensuring they have access to the resources needed to care for their bodies and allow for a deeper education and, most importantly, acceptance of periods."