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Diverse Community Ambassadors Increase Inclusive Community Impact: Introducing Cristina Navoa and Marissa Catena

Posted by Leviana Coccia on 3 February 2019
Being a community organization fueled by the power of diverse local leaders and volunteers, The Period Purse is proud to collaborate with some of Canada's brilliant community ambassadors to increase awareness about what we do and how the world can help us reduce menstrual inequity and the negative stigma associated with periods.

In other words, we're thrilled that there are people across this country who echo us when we say: "Half of the world bleeds. Deal with it and help us source free product for menstruators."

In the early fall of 2018, we launched our first-ever community ambassador program. It brings like-minded people together through strategic communication and social media efforts. We recognize that digital media is both flourishing and ever-changing. We too acknowledge that without the power of sharing stories, highlighting impact and connecting with folks from various communities who represent diverse audiences, we wouldn't be able to support marginalized menstruators across Ontario and Saskatchewan.

It is so incredibly important to us to ensure that we put representation at the forefront of everything we do, and since our community ambassador program opened, two passionate advocates, each with empowering social media brands, have helped us connect with new people, while supporting everything for which we stand.

We asked Cristina Navoa, Teacher and Lifestyle Ambassador, and Marissa Catena, Toronto mom of three, business owner, avid reader, coffee enthusiast and former knitter, why they are dedicated to supporting The Period Purse. This is what they had to say:

Cristina Navoa
Instagram: @cristina.in.colour

When my friend, Vanessa Grant, Founder of Vanessa Grant Media and Mommyfluencer.com, connected me with Jana Girdauskas and The Period Purse, I realized I had never thought about menstrual equity or that menstrual inequity existed. I thought about how my period affects me month to month; how on some days, I have found myself in predicaments without pads or tampons. I thought about times I stayed in bed with particularly bad menstrual discomfort. Then, I thought about other menstruators who do not have the resources I do; how running to the store to buy some pain medication or an extra pack of pads are not options when there are other priorities at the top of the list, like nutrition and shelter. This put things into perspective for me and I knew I wanted to be involved.






Photo Credit: Jenny Diaz Photography
Marissa Catena
Instagram: @catenasinthecity

In early 2017, there was a call out on a neighbourhood Facebook group with the ask to collect purses and menstrual supplies and donate them to a person experiencing homelessness. Until that day, I'd never stopped to consider the challenges a marginalized menstruator might face during their period. Learning that socks, toilet paper and newspaper are often used in lieu of sanitary products was eye-opening. Knowing the impact that one purse has on someone's life has made me a proud contributor to The Period Purse's, "Support a Menstruator," program. Each month, my donation empowers a menstruator by ensuring they have the supplies they need to handle their period, with dignity. The Period Purse has done so much in such a short time and I'm excited to see what 2019 brings! 

We are incredibly grateful for Cristina and Marissa's support and encourage you to follow along with their journeys via Instagram.

Are you interested in supporting The Period Purse as one of our community ambassadors? Send me a note at leviana@theperiodpurse.com for more information. In your email, please include a one to three sentence biography, your social media handles and any other web details you wish to share.

Thanks for building and supporting this diverse community with us. We can't make inclusive community impact without you!

Author:Leviana Coccia

We respectfully acknowledge the land we live and work on is the traditional territory of many nations including the Haudenosaunee, the Anishinabewaki, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, Mississauga, and the Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. We also acknowledge that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit.

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