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Founder Feature: Ta’Sheena Williams

It’s time for another Founder Feature! Mission Menstruation was originally started by duo Emily Estrada and Ta’Sheena Williams, who have put in countless hours to help out menstruators in college and fight for period equity within their community. After sitting down with Emily and hearing her thoughts on all things MM, we thought it was time to sit down with Ta’Sheena and hear from her point of view!

Ta’Sheena Williams, co-founder and President of Mission Menstruation, is a recent Michigan State University graduate with a B.S. in cognitive and computational neuroscience. Originally from Flint, Michigan, Ta’Sheena enjoys working out, baking, watching documentaries and spending time with her family when she is not working tirelessly to further MM’s cause!

Similar to co-founder Emily, Ta’Sheena was an R.A. at MSU. In her first year as an R.A., Ta’Sheena formed great connections with her residents. They were always asking her for pads and tampons, and she started to think about other ways in which period products could be provided to students on campus. Her boss encouraged her to reach out to other student groups who could help, so she connected with Nama – Mission Menstruation’s current secretary. Nama connected Emily and Ta’Sheena together, and they began their work.

Here’s a look at some of Ta’Sheena’s thoughts on period poverty, inequity and Mission Menstruation.

Why do you work on MM?

My interest in working on MM comes from simply wanting to close the gap of inequity for menstruating folks and make life easier to handle. Menstruators should not have to worry about small things, like where they will get their period products from. The goal is to allow menstruating students to be as successful as anyone else, academically and beyond.

What’s your role and could you tell us a little bit about what you do on a weekly basis?

As President of MM, my role on a weekly basis is to touch base with team members, embody our core values and stay on track with our mission. My role varies from handling the big picture ideas, to making sure no small tasks slips through the cracks. I attend meetings regarding MSU, future plans for the organization, attend to partnerships, etc. I also brainstorm future steps of MM with co-founder Emily, while making sure the day-to-day tasks are running smoothly.

What motivates you to move forward with this project?

I have seen the difference that we’ve made on campus, and it continually makes me feel empowered to continue this work. This project is very much needed. I am not going to stop until we’ve come to some sort of resolution as a nation.

Where do you see MM in 5 years? What are you most excited about?

In 5 years, I see MM having a presence in most universities in Michigan. I want to see us infiltrate colleges and universities In 5 years, we have hopefully put a period program in place at MSU and beyond. The goal is to eventually expand out of Michigan and become nationwide. We want to move closer each day to closing the gap in period poverty.

I am most excited about our growth and allowing people to find something that they are passionate about. I want to inspire our advocates to be as passionate about this issue as we are. It is a liberating feeling to take control and advocate for yourself and others.

There has been a recent push in Europe to provide free period products, what do you think about that?

I think it’s a great thing and feel as though the U.S. should be inspired to do the same. Eventually, it will force the U.S. to take the necessary steps in this movement. Things may not change immediately, but it’s a start. There will still be some accessibility issues, as we see this issue widespread throughout our healthcare system today.

Who inspires you?

My mom inspires me because she is a woman who has endured a lot throughout her life. She constantly encourages me to push forward in fighting for women’s rights as she has in her own community. She has helped me realize all efforts, small or big, are still impactful. I remember my mom cooking dinner for a neighbor, and it helped me realize small acts may make a large difference in someone’s life. You are bigger than just yourself.

In one word, describe yourself.

Persistent.

Ta’Sheena is no doubt an amazing co-founder and the team at Mission Menstruation can attest to all the hard work and determination she has shown over the years. We are excited to see how her journey with our mission continues. If you are interested in working with this bad-a** founder, fill out our contact form here or send us an email at info@missionmenstruation.com!

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