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Meet The Speakers: 2021 Canadian Symposium on Sustainable & Equitable Periods

Updated: Sep 13, 2021

We are so proud to announce the speakers that will be joining our symposium this year on Saturday, September 18th, 2021. The conference will be held over Zoom and will feature a variety of speakers, workshops, and discussions on menstrual equity. Registration is required to attend. You can save your spot by registering below.

Let's take a closer look at who will be speaking at our event!

Keynote Speech

Carly Pistawka

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.

Niki Oveisi & Olivia Stein

"Supporting Menstrual Health and Equity in Post-Secondary Institutions with Reusable Menstrual Products"

Niki Oveisi

Our very own Niki Oveisi and Olivia Stein will be presenting on their research project "Supporting Menstrual Health and Equity in Post-Secondary Institutions with Reusable Menstrual Products." Through this project, Niki and Olivia have sought to understand the usage patterns, barriers to usage, and potential next steps for the integration of RMS in post-secondary institutions. Understanding this can help us design interventions to empower more people in switching to RMS, and aim to reduce the number of waste created from single-use menstrual supplies.

Olivia Stein


"Using Social Media and Marketing to Amplify Menstrual Equity Advocacy"

Taught by Rachel Ettinger

Rachel Ettinger is the Founder of Here for Her, @shophereforher (rebrand coming soon!) 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. We believe everyone should be educated and empowered about their health so they can make informed decisions. 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 in 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! #hereforhealth

"Making Menstrual Movements Gender Inclusive"

Taught by A.J Lowik

A.J. Lowik is a Ph.D. 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.


Nadine Nakagawa

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.

Nikki Hill

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.

Jana Girdauskas

Jana Girdauskas is the Founder of The Period Purse (TPP), the first and only registered charity that deals with menstrual equity and reducing the stigma of periods through education and advocacy. TPP has impacted 21 cities donating over 2.5 million period products. When she is not talking about periods, Jana is a teacher and lives with her family in Toronto.

Closing Speaker

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.


At the end of the conference, we will be giving away 24 prizes to some lucky winners! All you have to do is register and attend our conference, then fill out our end-of-conference feedback survey for a chance to win! We will be giving away one 1-month pass to Gold's Gym, 10 pairs of period underwear from Revol, 10 biodegradable period care packages from Joni, and 3 menstrual cups from Bfree cups. Don't miss out on this awesome opportunity!

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