On September 17, 2019 our very own Jordan Pouliot Latham was one of 30 people nominated for the SouthCoast Emerging Leaders Award. Her volunteer work at the Women’s Fund of Southeastern Massachusetts, position as a Commissioner on the Plymouth County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, and dedication to advocacy, social justice, girls and women at the YWCA as our Director of Advocacy and Resource Development are just a few of the accomplishments that landed her this nomination.
On October 3, 2019 the 6th Annual Emerging Leaders/SouthCoast 5 Awards Reception was held at UMass Dartmouth. Jordan was one of five recipients to be given the SouthCoast Emerging Leaders Award!
“One of my objectives as the YWCA Girls Exclusive coordinator was to engage our students in year-round, sustained advocacy work, and one fateful day last fall the girls shared with us their policy concerns, from dress code to school lunches. But then the conversation turned to menstruation and accessing menstrual products. They explained how hard it was to take care of their hygiene needs in between class, how the 25 cents they were charged for pads at the nurse was really hard to pay, and how embarrassed and ashamed they felt as girls. That day we chose to make menstrual access our advocacy issue, and since then it has informed every aspect of my advocacy work at the YW. Under my leadership, the project has been supported by Leadership SouthCoast, the Women’s Fund of Southeastern MA, and the Island Foundation. I have arranged for the girls to speak at school committee meetings, and to attend planning meetings with school administrators. I’ve arranged for interviews between journalists and the girls, and our advocacy project has been featured in Teen Vogue, the Boston Globe, The Standard-Times, and Commonwealth Magazine. I’ve also arranged meetings between the girls and local representatives, both at their district office and on Beacon Hill. All of this work has led to actual systems change: last spring, New Bedford Public Schools began a pilot program at Keith Middle School to expand access to menstrual products in bathrooms.”