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2021 Canadian Symposium on Sustainable and Equitable Periods


Event Agenda

Date: Saturday September 18th, 2021 

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 818 812 7532
Passcode: 519503

10:00 am PST

Opening keynote speech by Carly Pistawka from Moon Time Sisters

Carly Pistawka is the co-founder of Moon Time Sisters BC, a non-profit project that sends menstrual products to remote indigenous communities in Northern BC. Moon Time Sisters BC establishes connections with communities where menstrual products are unaffordable and/or inaccessible. Outside of her work with Moon Time Sisters, Carly attends the University of British Columbia for Biotechnology.

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Carly Pistawka

10:15 am PST

Sustainability in Menstruation - a presentation by Niki Oveisi and Olivia Stein from Free Periods Canada

This presentation will feature the research findings from our 2021 research project on Supporting Menstrual Health and Equity in Post-Secondary Institutions with Reusable Menstrual Products. This research explored students’ perceptions towards reusable menstrual supplies (RMS), access and barriers to its adoption, and ways to make RMS more accessible.


Niki Oveisi 


Olivia Stein

10:45 am PST

Making Menstrual Movements Gender Inclusive

A.J. Lowik is a PhD Candidate with the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at UBC, where they study trans people's reproductive lives, health, decision-making processes and experiences accessing reproductive health care. Their work focuses on abortion, nursing, pregnancy, menstruation, assisted reproductive and fertility preservation technologies, and other aspects of reproductive life. They are the Gender Equity Advisor with the Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity, a Graduate Academic Assistant at the BC Centre on Substance Use and a Sessional Instructor at UBC where they teach Intro to Trans Studies. A.J. also runs a trans-inclusion consulting business, where they work with health care professionals, researchers and organizations of all kinds to create meaningfully inclusive research, spaces and services for trans and non-binary people. They are a queer liberationist, an unapologetic feminist, and a lover of cats, beaches and board


A.J. Lowik

11:30 am PST

Using Social Media & Marketing to Amplify Menstrual Equity Advocacy

Rachel Ettinger is the Founder of Here for Her. She currently works at Unilever Canada and was a former morning radio personality for Virgin Radio for 6 years. Here for Her is a social enterprise that promotes health education and focuses on menstrual health advocacy. Due to HFH’s advocacy efforts, London, ON was the first city in Canada to provide free menstrual products in all publicly accessible, city-owned buildings in 2019. HFH has been a part of countless initiatives alongside other advocates to provide free menstrual products; at school boards, universities, municipalities and workplaces. After leading a successful petition in 2020 asking the Federal Government to follow through on their menstrual equity statements back 2019 (supported by Liberal MP Peter Fragiskatos), Rachel was able to speak to the Minister of Labour, Minister Tassi in Oct 2020 regarding Labour FRP plans. HFH has partnered with brands such as Diva Cup and Ovarian Cancer Canada to raise awareness/donations and has been featured by Cityline, CBC Radio Canada, Huffington Post and more!


Rachel Ettinger

12:00 pm PST

Networking Fair

Our networking fair will be hosted on Kumospace where you will have a chance to explore five different businesses and nonprofits working in the menstrual equity advocacy and sustainability space including Joni, Aisle, For The Menstruator, Bfree Cup, and Help A Girl Out. As this is hosted on a different platform, please familiarize yourself with Kumospace beforehand!

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12:30 pm PST

Youth Leadership & Policy Advocacy Panel featuring Nadine Nakagawa, Nikki Hill, Kevin Hiebert & Jana Girdauskas


Nadine is a community organizer and a local activist who was elected to New Westminster's City Council in 2018. She has served on the Mayor’s Task Force on Climate Change and the Environment, and the Mayor’s Task Force on Reconciliation, Inclusion, and Public Engagement, where she helped put forth a motion for the City to offer menstrual products in public facilities.. Nadine also chairs the Environment Advisory Committee and is the council representative on the Youth Advisory Committee.

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Nikki Hill is the Co-Chair of the United Way Period Promise campaign and the recipient of the 2020 Greater Vancouver Board of Trade Wendy McDonald Community Catalyst Award. She is a Principal at Earnscliffe Strategy Group.


Kevin Hiebert is the co-founder of Changing the Flow and a cis-het-male learning to be a better feminist and ally every day. In late 2018, while researching guests for his weekly radio show, Kevin came across an organization addressing period poverty and striving for menstrual equity. Within months, Kevin was co-founding and co-leading the Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge (KWC) chapter of The Period Purse with Kate Elliott. Kevin has presented on the topic of menstrual equity, including two presentations to Cambridge city council. Kevin’s current focus is elevating those who work to make the world a better place in the areas of menstrual equity, homelessness care and gender equality.

Facilitated by : Tesicca Truong

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1:30 pm PST

Closing Remarks by Madeleine Shaw 

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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Madeleine Shaw

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