#BlackGirlsBleed in Philadelphia with No More Secrets’ new menstrual hub
DivaCares recently partnered with No More Secrets Mind Body Spirt Inc. The partnership supports No More Secrets’ new drop-in center, within which the ‘Breonna Taylor Room’ will provide a safe resting place for busy families. DivaCares contributed $5000 to No More Secret’s initiative, along with product donation of the DivaCup, menstrual cup, totaling a value over $55,000 USD.
This financial and product backing goes toward aiding the organization in continuing their important community-focused work in Philadelphia. Being the only physical location of its kind, the room will act as a hub for menstruators and their families to gather while seeking social assistance through programming.
No More Secrets is a grassroots Sexuality Awareness Organization that independently created the first and only menstrual care bank in the PA. NJ. and DE. Tristate area. They are also the only rapid response door-to-door menstrual care delivery service in the nation, in addition to shipping nationwide.
The organization delivers a 3–5-month supply of menstrual care products including, tampons, pads and menstrual cups to the doorsteps of persons living in poverty or suffering from economic hardships. They service approximately 250 individuals by distributing over 38,000 products weekly. In 2020, No More Secrets delivered almost 2 million menstrual care products to underserved BIPOC populations.
We spoke with Lynette Medley, CEO/Founder of No More Secrets to learn more. Check out our interview below:
About No More Secrets:
At the core of what we do is reaching the individual personal, where they are, with what they need. I started out on this journey, not intending to fall into the menstrual equity space. I learned very quickly that you cannot work within sexual health and not encounter menstrual health. Our approach is holistic, going beyond the tangible donation of tampons, pads and menstrual cups to support people with programs that help them reach their full potential.
One of our most recent achievements, is The SPOT (Safety Programming Optimal Transformation) Period Menstrual Hub. The SPOT Period was created to provide a space for our current support programs and extend our period poverty services to reach menstruators in a more holistic manner.
The SPOT Period. will provide a comprehensive approach to menstrual wellness in addition to a safe nonjudgmental space for acceptance, understanding, menstrual education, uterine care, menstrual care resources and access to clean water and operable toilets. The SPOT Period will be a safe space where we can aid vulnerable communities in reaching their full potential and inspire them to believe in themselves, realizing that just like ourselves, we are so much more than an overlooked societal statistic.
The SPOT Period is for OUR community. Here, we can empower, uplift and equip our young Black women and girls with the tools necessary to amplify their authentic voices to fight against systemic racism and oppression and to become activists and advocates for equal and equitable access to menstrual care and health care.
#BlackGirlsBleed and the menstrual equity movement:
On July 1st, No More Secrets launched a new social action campaign called #BlackGirlsBleed to help #EndPeriodPoverty. We did so because we can’t achieve menstrual justice without racial justice. Menstrual equity is absolutely an intersectional issue.
#BlackGirlsBleed seeks to:
- Address systemic racism and oppression in the menstrual health space historically dominated by White perspectives by amplifying the authentic voices of Black menstruators and experiences by No More Secrets and others as a BIPOC owned and led organization.
- Decrease generational silence and stigma surrounding menstruation in Black communities.
Three Lessons I’ve learned:
In my 15-plus years’ of experience as a sexual awareness educator and counselor I have learned so much from the communities I’ve served. A few of the key lessons I’d like to share include:
- Black women’s realities about their menstrual cycles and experiences are nullified and rejected by menstrual brands and movements.
- There’s an ongoing egregious myth that Black women do not experience pain in the same ways as White women.
- Black women are not safe in our society and our voices are muted and ignored causing a deficit in authentic information sharing.
From these lessons I want to provide the following call to action for organizations who are looking for ways to support the BIPOC community.
Menstrual product brands, organizations and those working in the menstrual movement need to evaluate their current policies and practices to ensure for access, inclusivity and impact for the BIPOC communities. Likewise, they need to be mindful of performative actions that negatively impact marginalized populations. Our BIPOC communities are asking for accountability and transparency in all areas of the menstrual equity movement.