This spring, Spring Hill College welcomed the People Empowering People with Periods (PEPP) program.
SHC juniors Morgan German and Sydney Parker brought it upon themselves to make PEPP’s focus one that is apparent to the SHC community. Parker said, “We wanted to create a safe environment and space for people to come and talk about things that they are not supposed to talk about, like periods.”
Menstruation tends to be a taboo topic, surrounded by silence and shrouded in myths. With that in mind, German and Parker decided to create PEPP. German said, “We want to shine a light on the fact that periods are natural, and a lot of people have them. We want people to be proud and excited about having their period rather than hidden behind shame and disgust.”
PEPP welcomes all people to be a part of this group. German said, “I’m sure you either have a period or you know someone with a period.” They went on to explain the importance of their name. Parker said, “We don’t want to be exclusive towards anybody. We want to reach out to our community and being able to help other people. We want to bring everyone together and have an informative session and a fun time while talking about it.”
As to short-term projects, German said, “We are trying to donate tampons to local homeless shelters and have campaign posters. We want to contact different brands and have them send us different products.”
A 2016 report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development found that there are 549,928 homeless people. Of that number, 40 percent were women, and 78 percent were above the age of 18. That is a large number of homeless women who menstruate, even when not accounting for the 22 percent of individuals who are under the age of 18 and menstruating. For those living on the streets, challenges include a daily lack of food, shelter, employment, medicine and a myriad of other vital resources.
SHC sophomore Brandon Harden said, “I think it is important to empower all women just as we should empower all people. Women didn’t ask to go through periods. It’s a physical thing they go through and during that time they need to be empowered during the rough days.”
When asked about the characteristics of an empowered person, Parker said, “I think an empowered person is very open and just really accepting and loving towards other people, but also toward themselves. We want people to be empowered for their bodies and their own self and want other people to run that. We want people to exude that confidence and empowering vibe.”
Harden added his reasons for joining the club: “I decided to join because I grew up in a house full of women. It was just my brother and me, but with my little sister going through that stage in her life I would see that the process was really painful for her and I wanted to help out any way I could.” Harden continued, “Helping her through that time gave me some knowledge into helping out with others.”
Should one be interested in joining the club or taking part in their activities, contact Morgan German or Sydney Parker through firstname.lastname@example.org or @pepp.shc on Instagram.