Celebrate Dignity for All with #PledgeYourPeriod

At first, Megha Desai thought there was no way girls and women would take to social media to tell stories about their first periods. But as education, dignity, and confidence grew in a small town in India, the local women and girls surprised her.

Megha Desai, President of the Desai Foundation. (Image Credit: Desai Foundation)

Four years ago, the Desai Foundation held an awareness campaign about menstrual health and hygiene in the small town of Untdi, Gujarat–the village Desai’s father grew up in.

“We had all these signs laid out on tables, saying things like ‘Happy to Bleed,’ ‘Proud to be a Woman,’ and ‘Proud of my Womanhood,” remembers Desai, President of the Desai Foundation. “I looked at those signs and I thought, ‘Nobody is going to hold these signs up. We’re in a tiny little village where no woman would talk about her period. But by the end of the campaign, the women and girls were so confident and proud that they posed for pictures with these signs. It blew me away. I thought to myself, if these girls in this little village can hold these signs and pledge their periods, then we ought to be able to do that, too.”

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Liveblogging Debut IUPUI Series with Gates Leaders on COVID

On May 21st, attendees gathered for IUPUI’s first webinar in the Perspectives on Philanthropy Discussion Series. The series asks, “As we search for context in our transforming world, what role does philanthropy play? Broadly understood to encompass the human voluntary spirit, philanthropy is responding in a variety of ways to the current global crisis today. How is it doing and what role will it have in the world that is emerging?”

gender equality leaders Gates
Jennifer Alcorn and Victoria Vrana were the first guests on the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy’s new discussion series, Perspectives on Philanthropy. (Image Credit: IUPUI)

Today’s webinar started with an introduction from Amir Pasic of IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. The morning’s guests were Jennifer Alcorn (Deputy Director, Philanthropic Partnerships) and Victoria Vrana (Deputy Director, Giving By All) of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Free Virtual Therapy for People of Color Affected by COVID-19

The COVID-19 Free Virtual Therapy Support Campaign is a Boris L. Henson Foundation (BLHF) effort to raise money for mental health services for communities of color.

Taraji P. Henson starred in the 2016 movie Hidden Figures about the key role a group of female African-American mathematicians played in the U.S. space program’s early years. (Image Credit: BLHF)

According to the BLHF, “the campaign was developed to cover the cost for virtual or tele-therapy services by licensed, culturally competent clinicians in our network.” Up to five sessions are covered, and those seeking COVID-related virtual therapy can register with BLHF. The Foundation is seeking donations to support the program (Text NOSTIGMA to 707070), as well culturally competent providers to provide services.

The BLHF was founded in 2018 by actor and mental health advocate Taraji P. Henson and is led by Executive Director Tracie Jade Jenkins. It has seen strong interest in the tele-therapy program since it debuted on April 15. In a Today Show interview, Henson, who most recently has appeared on the television series Empire, said, “We had to shut the server down … that’s how big the need is.” She argues that for many, the hardships imposed by COVID-19 are “added trauma,” and that mental health services are helping “thousands stay alive.”

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NY Women’s Fdn Gives 1 Million for Women, Families Impacted by COVID

(March 26, 2020) The New York Women’s Foundation is launching the 2020 Resilience-NYC: COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to provide organizations funding to solve critical issues facing vulnerable and marginalized communities in New York City

The New York Women’s Foundation will make $1 million in rapid-response grants to help women, transgender and nonbinary people and their families during COVID. (Image Credit: NWYF)

NEW YORK, March 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The New York Women’s Foundation (The Foundation) announced the launch of 2020 Resilience-NYC: COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, providing $1,000,000 in grants to organizations helping women, transgender, gender nonconforming, non-binary (TGNCNB) individuals, and their families most impacted by COVID-19. Marginalized populations are among the most vulnerable during times of crisis, along with the local organizations that know how to best support them. The COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund will provide vital resources to organizations on the front lines for some of the hardest hit communities to address immediate and long-term needs.

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Eve Ensler: Nurses Told to Work Even if They Have COVID Symptoms

Last evening, Kimberlé Crenshaw and the African American Policy Forum hosted a Zoom session called Under the Blacklight: The Intersectional Vulnerabilities that COVID Lays Bare. It featured an array of progressive leaders including Eve Ensler, Laura Flanders, Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Ai-jen Poo, Dorothy Roberts and Alvin Starks.

Kimberlé Crenshaw and the African American Policy Forum hosted a Zoom session called Under the Blacklight: The Intersectional Vulnerabilities that COVID Lays Bare. (Image Credit: AAPF)

There were many great points discussed in the meeting, but as a health care provider, I want to bring one point right to the surface. Eve Ensler, when discussing her work supporting nurses in the COVID crisis, said that many nurses are reporting that they are being told that they need to show up for work even though they have COVID symptoms such as cough, congestion, and exhaustion, or the beginnings of symptoms which can sometimes look like nausea and vomiting, sleeplessness, and “just not feeling right.”

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