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Cambridge Public Schools District Launches a Period Equity Bank

Student School Committee Member Anaïs Killian & Vice Chair Manikka Bowman

Press Release

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Manikka Bowman Anaïs Killian

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Cambridge, Mass. – (December 28, 2021) – Vice-Chair Manikka Bowman ends her tenure on the Cambridge School Committee by cementing her commitment to expanding sanitary products in the Cambridge Public Schools District by launching the Period Equity Bank program. This fall Vice-Chair Bowman and Student Committee Member Anaïs Killian launched the Period Equity Bank program in collaboration with the CPSD facilities team. The program provides students with sanitary products to be taken home through family liaisons, nurses, and the Spot Cambridge. Products are additionally given out at school resource and community fairs.

The Period Equity Bank builds on Bowman's 2016 initiative, which expanded access to free sanitary hygiene products and proper disposal containers in all CPSD facilities. "I'm elated to end my time on the Cambridge School Committee as it began– by continuing CPSD's period equity commitment," states Vice-Chair Bowman. "Expanding access so students can have these products beyond the school day will support young people in need. I'm proud of what we have accomplished."

Vice-Chair Bowman and Member Killian were also committed to improving the quality of products provided at CPSD. They held several meetings with CPSD distributor Hospeco and the facilities team, and these meetings led to the district purchasing the highest quality products offered. "I was very pleased when the district decided to provide menstrual products in CPS bathrooms free of charge throughout the district. As a woman and as the mother of a daughter, I applaud the ongoing efforts to publicly recognize menstruation as a normal function common to half of humanity for a significant portion of their lives," says Diane Fisk Johnson, Financial Manager for Facilities & Transportation, Cambridge Public School. While Bowman, Johnson, and Killian were meeting with Hospeco's team, they learned that there weren't many options for product offerings but committed to working with the distributor to improve the supply chain.

Debbie Bonilla, the family engagement specialist and Founder at The Spot Cambridge, states, "I wanted to help with this project because bringing equity and awareness into our district is a priority for me. And, how wonderful that our school committee members - student Anais Killian and Vice-Chair Manikka Bowman made this a priority for ALL in and who are part of the Cambridge Public Schools community. Menstrual products are free here at CPS, and now better products will be more accessible."

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