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OUR STORY

Free Periods Canada is a grassroots, youth-run, registered non-profit organization. We are headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia - the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples–Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. 

2016

We took an initiative to distribute free menstrual supplies. The group was named Camions of Care UBC 

Our Board Members

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Madeleine Shaw

Chair

Madeleine is an experienced social entrepreneur and feminist leader best known as the co-founder of Aisle (formerly Lunapads, a founding Canadian B Corp), one of the first companies in the world to commercialize reusable menstrual products, now a thriving industry. From 2014-2020 she also founded and led G Day, a national rite of passage celebration series for self-identified tween girls. She is the founder of Nestworks, a family-friendly coworking community and also sits on the Boards of several social impact-focused nonprofits, ranging from alternative business schools to junior roller derby. Her first book, The Greater Good: Social Entrepreneurship for Everyday People Who Want to Change the World, is being published in October 2021.

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Roojin Habibi

Vice-Chair

Roojin Habibi is a lawyer and researcher specializing in global health law, governance, and justice. She advises on health-related rights advocacy nationally and internationally through civil society and intergovernmental bodies, and is a project lead at the Global Health Law Consortium, a York University-based interdisciplinary research initiative advancing global health law scholarship and collaboration. Roojin is also a Fellow of the Global Strategy Lab and Canadian International Council, and has taught pharmaceutical policy, as well as health and human rights, at the graduate level at academic institutions in Canada, Australia and the United States. Roojin holds a J.D. (University of Ottawa), a Master’s of Science in Global Health (McMaster University), and a certificate in Transnational Law (University of Geneva).

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Naiely Cabrera

Secretary

Naiely’s passion is to empower people to build healthier and inclusive communities. Currently she works as an Operations Manager at Pacific Immigrant Resources Society, a non-profit organization empowering immigrant and refugee women and children to fully participate in Canadian society. Naiely enjoys sharing her ability to improve organizational processes, develop and manage programs and projects to achieve operational goals. Naiely understands that menstruation is considered a taboo in certain cultures and, in collaboration with FPC, aims to promote education around menstruation to support the rights and social equity of those who menstruate.

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Kate Wahl

Board Member

Kate Wahl is a graduate researcher interested in new strategies for moving evidence into health policy and practice. She uses qualitative methods to develop and evaluate approaches for sharing research findings with stakeholders including the public, healthcare providers, and policy makers. Her focus is on advancing reproductive and sexual health, and she is currently investigating patient decision aids, education programs, and storytelling in this context. Her research has been supported by the Canadian Institute of Health Research, the Women’s Health Research Institute, the BC SUPPORT Unit, the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health, the UBC Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and the UBC Office of Community Engagement.

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Lisa Smith

Board Member

Dr. Lisa Smith is a faculty member in the Department of Sociology at Douglas College. She is a founding member of the Douglas College Menstrual Research Group and the Project Lead at Douglas College for iMPACTS: Collaborations to Address Sexual Violence. Her research focuses on sexual and reproductive health, sexual and gender-based violence, and community-engaged sociology. Her current research projects examine the politics of menstruation in the Canadian context within a variety of contexts, the social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and sexual violence policies in the post-secondary context. Lisa has published in scholarly and non-scholarly venues and is co-editor of two forth-coming collections, Gender, Sex, Tech! An intersectional feminist guide and Northern Blood: The Politics of Menstruation in Canada. She is a mother to two young boys and when she is not busy being a sociologist, enjoys playing music, biking, and swimming.

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Tasha - Aliya Kara

Board Member

Tasha-Aliya Kara is an emergency management coordinator for the provincial health authority in British Columbia (PHSA) and a community of practice coordinator for the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research. She obtained her BA from McGill University in 2017, specializing in International Development and Gender and Sexuality studies. This fall she will begin her MPH at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. 

Kara places community development and gender equity at the core of her work. She has previously interned with Campaign for Female Education, a non-profit based in San Francisco, California, worked with Women of Uganda Network in Kampala, Uganda, as well as volunteered for the Institute of Gender and Health at the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) in Montreal. In her spare time, Tasha enjoys good food, watching reruns of Seinfeld, and playing the piano.

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Heather Chang

Board Member

Heather Chang is a marketing and communications professional currently working in the women’s health equity space. Skilled in strategy development, digital project management, and social media, Heather has had a key role in launching integrated awareness initiatives like the award-winning “Unmasking Gender Inequity” campaign for the BC Women’s Health Foundation. Recognized for her collaborative spirit and creative problem solving, Heather is passionate about helping Free Periods Canada reach its goal of advancing menstrual equity and reducing period stigma.

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Lisa Hansen

Board Member

Lisa Hansen is a public health epidemiologist, mom and recovering frequent flyer. She and her family returned to Canada in 2020 to settle in Vancouver, after several years of international work in the Caribbean, West Africa, and Europe. Lisa started her public health career in the field of HIV and sexual health, and has a particular interest in building community capacity for health in all policies. You can usually find her at the beach with Lucy the dog or at home with a good book.

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Halimah Beaulieu

Board Member

Halimah Beaulieu (she/ her) is an equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) consultant-collaborator focused on advancing racial equity and justice through organizational shifts. She has worked with various non-profit organizations to ensure their practices are supportive of and equitable towards racialized staff and clients, and those with diverse abilities, gender and sexual orientations, and faiths. 

 

She holds an MA in Equity Studies in Education at SFU where she examined the power of reading Indigenous literature in Canadian settler society. Prior to being an EDI consultant-collaborator, she worked in the communications and health research field.

 

Halimah is passionate about building sustainable and reciprocal relationships and does not shy away from difficult conversations about decolonization, racism, and political accountability. She is a settler on the unceded, ancestral, and rightful territory of the QayQayt (qiqéyt) peoples who have been its stewards since time immemorial.

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Our Team

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Zeba Khan

Founder & Director

A staunch believer of equal access to healthcare for all, Zeba is devoted to advocating for free access to menstruation care products. Her dedication to advocating for menstrual and healthcare equity has earned her the 2019 Diana Award, 2019 Faces of Today Award as well as the International Community Achievement Award from UBC four times in a row. Zeba has recently completed her Bachelor’s in physiology and behavioural neuroscience, and is currently the youngest board member of Options for Sexual Health.

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Associate Director

Niki Oveisi is a Master of Public Health candidate at the University of British Columbia with a previous background in Biology. Thoroughly proficient in systems-level processing, analytical thinking, and epidemiological inference, her public health background has prepared her with extensive knowledge regarding our healthcare system. These skills have been further amplified in her work at the UBC Contraception and Abortion Research Team, as well as the UBC Sexual Health Research Institute. 

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Office Coordinator

As a fourth year student in the Bachelor of Social Work Program at UBC, Ishleen is passionate about her role at Free Periods Canada. Through her role at FPC, she hopes to further educate individuals and advocate for her fellow menstruators. Ishleen’s long term goal includes working with women to ensure easy access to menstrual products. When she’s not working you can find her out on an ice cream run, reading a book or at a park! 

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Niki Oveisi

Ishleen Kalra

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Advocacy & Policy Coordinator

Deyvika is a second year Global Resource Systems student from Bangalore, India. She is looking forward to collaboration and coalition building in social impact spaces and feels grateful to tackle menstrual equity alongside her team members at Free Periods Canada. When she’s not thinking about menstrual cups, you can find her out on a run, reading or drinking too much coffee!

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Nadia Kovari

Grants & Partnerships Coordinator

Nadia is a graduate in International Relations and is passionate about immigration and settlement. She hopes to bring Free Period’s equity and inclusion projects to settlement communities. When she's not involved in the community, you can find her knitting on a rainy day or playing with her brass quintet group as a trombonist in the park. 

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Olivia Stein

Grants & Partnerships Coordinator

Olivia is an undergraduate BSc Global Health student at the University of British Columbia. Her background in microbiology, political science and history gives her a holistic understanding of how health intersects with societal structures and norms. She is passionate about alleviating health inequalities and loves that FPC allows her to do just that. You can always find Olivia expressing herself creatively through painting, drawing, cooking and baking.

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Deyvika Srinivasa

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Jacqueline Seppelt

Service Coordinator

Jacqueline is in her final year completing her B.A. in sociology at the University of British Columbia. She has a passion for researching the inequalities faced by individuals in the health care system. In particular, Jacqueline enjoys learning about reproductive health and how gender shapes our conceptions of our own bodies and genitals. Through her role at Free Periods Canada, she hopes to become a full fledged menstrual activists who empowers individuals to overcome the inequities they face. When she's not reading an academic article, you can find Jacqueline at her pilates studio or out for a walk along the seawall.

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Sue Lu

Treasurer & Global Lounge Officer

Sue is a third year integrated sciences student focusing on physiology, immunology and public health. She is passionate about advocating for equality in health care and creating affordable solutions for patients. When she's not studying or helping out in the community, you can find her watching true crime documentaries or playing games on the Switch.

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