Shannon McGovern, Copy Editor
The world’s first National Period Day Rally is coming on Oct. 19, and two Prospect students are working to make it’s following an even bigger one within the school community.
Juniors Mary Catherine Hanafee Laplante and Vani Sharma are working side-by-side with Nadya Okamoto, the founder and CEO of PERIOD — a non-profit organization that works to guarantee menstrual products to those who need them but cannot access them.
Hanafee Laplante was previously part of the same program as Okamoto this past summer, so when Okamoto said she needed an Illinois rally organizer, Hanafee Laplante reached out to her and was immediately chosen to lead.
As soon as Hanafee Laplante was named the Lead Rally Coordinator, she began working closely with Sharma, the Logistics Coordinator, to create a team of volunteers to help spread awareness and participation in the National Period Day Rally.
Working alongside Hanafee Laplante and Sharma are students from DePaul University and Northside College Preparatory High School as many of these students understand the importance behind the rally.
The National Period Day Rally is happening in response to the tampon tax that still exists in many states throughout the U.S., period health, and period poverty. Hanafee Laplante and Sharma both hope that the rally they have started will lead to a better understanding about why these issues are crucial and need to be fixed.
“I think this is so important because people don’t really understand how important menstrual hygiene is and how it affects gender equity in our world today,” said Hanafee Laplante.
Hanafee Laplante and Sharma have also created an Instagram page sponsoring National Period Day to help raise awareness within the community. According to Sharma, this page is being used to make more people aware of period health and poverty, and to get people that are interested more involved.
“We want to make them aware because a lot of people don’t know about [the National Period Day Rally] since this is the first one the nation’s ever had,” Sharma said. “And even bigger than that — we want them to show up and get involved with signing the petition and gaining legislation.”