Sanicle.us, in collaboration with CF Industries, hosted a prelude to Menstrual Hygiene Day. The discussions took place at The Met Church Tulsa on May 27, 2023.
Menstrual Hygiene Day, observed annually on May 28, aligns with the average length of a menstrual cycle of 28 days, and an average menstruation duration of five days. This year’s theme was “Making menstruation a normal fact of life by 2030,” as stated by Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of UNFPA.
The first day of the Black Menstrual Health Summit on May 26, conducted virtually, highlighting the disparities faced by black women regarding menstrual health and involving men in the conversation.
The summit featured speakers Tosin Oni and Zaakirah Muhammad of Sanicle, Priscilla Siwela of Manevia, Hawa Diallo of the United Nations, Ogene Ogbodo of Town Crier Initiative, Stephen Oguntoyinbo of Alarinka Communications, and Kolawole E. Akinmuyiwa of Roses Natural. These individuals shared their insights on tackling period poverty, combating exclusion in discussions, cultural perceptions, and religious perspectives. Chief Egunwale Amusan of Black Wall Street Tours, delivered the keynote speech, highlighting the commemoration of the Tulsa Massacre and sharing a story about menstruation being a sacred experience. The summit also included a watch party featuring a pre-recorded roundtable conversation with women from Ghana. Moderated by Dr. Delia Gillis of the University of Central MO, the panel included Georgina Amoako of Giftologi Limited, Pamm Takyiwaa of WH Ghana, Dr. Patricia S. Richardson of Landmark Healthcare, and Erica M Daniel of The Somatica Institute.
The second day, May 27, 2023, shed light on the role of artificial intelligence (AI) and technology in raising awareness of menstrual health. The event featured a specially curated menu with delectable cookies, cakes and drinks, with an emphasis on nutritional benefits provided by Onifade Cookies and Faith Omogiate. An opening remark from Roxanne Stewart, Co founder of Sanicle, explains her passion for educating people about menstrual health and including fathers in the conversation. She shared her stories of growing up the oldest of five girls with a single father. Nehemiah D. Frank, founder of The Black Wall Street Times, delivered the keynote speech, highlighting the need to challenge stigmas and create a more inclusive society through media.
Representative Amanda Swope presented the Citation of the Black Menstrual Health Day, on behalf of The Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus. She shed light on the challenges faced by black and Indigenous women, addressing the need for policy changes to enhance access to period products. She emphasized the moment when she assumed office and discovered that correctional facilities were denying female incarcerated inmates access to period products.
The representative expressed her enthusiasm for Senator Jessica Garvin’s bill 382, which aims to combat period poverty. The proposed legislation allocates $1 million from sales tax revenue to establish a program starting in the 2024 fiscal year. In addition, the bill introduces a refundable sales tax exemption for feminine hygiene products, including tampons, panty liners, menstrual cups, sanitary napkins, and other similar items. Women would be eligible for a refund of the sales tax paid on these products by providing their receipts to the Oklahoma Tax Commission for qualifying purchases made in the previous year.
The multigenerational women’s panel, moderated by Caragan Tillman of Tulsa Innovation Labs, featured Aiko Pickering of Monthly, Chrystvan D. Cross of PERIOD. Oklahoma City, Rose Hurd of With Love Births, and Dominique Clarke of Tulsa Remote. They discussed their personal experiences with menstruation, the affordability of period products, and strategies to combat the stigma. They emphasized the importance of including boys and men in discussions about periods.
Chaste Inegbedion, also known as Mr. Padman, took the stage to highlight his career journey and the creation of Sanicle in the menstrual health industry. As the Chief Product Officer at Sanicle, Chaste emphasized the significance of involving men in conversations and shared the “Period Passport,” a self-help guide to educate fathers and daughters about menstruation.
The diverse industry-focused men’s panel, moderated by Dr. Ben Barenberg, MD, FPMRS of Optimal Health, discussed menstruation and menstrual health. Panelists included Joshua Bowers of Black Wall Street Chamber of Commerce, Juhon Irons of KIPP Schools, Darrel Frater of Visible Hands, Kyle Smith of Builders and Backers, Marquess Dennis of Tulsa Dream Center, and Claudio Nascimento of CF Industries. They explored how organizations can support employees during their menstrual cycles and encouraged men to engage in menstrual health outreach.
Claudio Nascimento of CF Industries expressed pride in partnering with Sanicle to address the issue of period poverty. “Through our communities program, our goal is to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. We aim to create a positive impact in alignment with Sanicle’s mission,” stated Mr. Nascimento. “I am a first-generation graduate from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I am grateful for the strong examples of my mother, my high school sweetheart, and my sister, who donated her kidney to save my life. Their experiences have fueled my passion for breaking taboos and fostering open discussions about these challenges.”
Justin Harlan, Managing Director at Tulsa Remote, virtually extended congratulations to Chaste, and co-founder Roxanne for their contributions to the Tulsa community since their relocation through the Tulsa Remote membership. Harlan commended their valuable impact, dedication and commitment to fostering positive change. Sanicle looks forward to working with more vendors, investors and partners in their efforts to #EndPeriodStigma.
Watch the recap filmed and edited by Aaron Lucas of Higher Views Productions
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