The Susan West Engelkemeyer Institute for Women’s Leadership Hosts Period Palooza with Fihri to Bring Awareness to Global Period Poverty

By Lily Marguy ’25






On February 26th, The Institute for Women’s Leadership was fortunate enough to have Ceylan Rowe, the Founder and Chief Period Officer of Fihri come to campus to bring awareness to global period poverty. During her visit to campus, Ceylan explained more about Fihri and how we, as aspiring women leaders, can help Fihri in the future.

“Inspired by Fatima Al-Fihri’s amazing achievement of starting the world’s first university, Fihri was born to empower women and girls through providing sustainable period packs to women and girls in need. Whether they are refugees fleeing from war, individuals who have lost their homes in natural disasters, or students who are unable to attend school due to lack of access. We also strongly believe in our responsibility towards menstruators and the planet. That is why we carefully curate period products that are sustainable from biodegradable pads, 100% organic cotton tampons, period underwear and menstrual cups and more.”

“Thanks to remarkable organizations like the Susan West Engelkemeyer Institute for Women’s Leadership, Fihri can host Period Paloozas which are sustainable period kit making events and donate the kits to women’s shelters, local schools and students in need, refugee community groups, but also send kits for humanitarian aid like to survivors of the Türkiye and Syria earthquake, Mexico hurricane survivors, Bangladesh and Pakistan flood victims and more. We sent Fihri kits to 14 different countries and we are just getting started.”

“There are countless remarkable individuals around the globe who are eager to make a difference in the lives of others. We are fortunate to have supporters from diverse backgrounds and regions who are passionate about ensuring women and girls have access to period kits, offering them hope and dignity. This collective effort ensures that no one feels isolated in their struggle. It is truly heartwarming.”

With twenty girls attending the Period Palozza event, the Institute was able to donate 50 period packs to Abby’s House in Worcester, Massachusetts. Claire Curry, ’24 and President of the IWL said “I am so glad that we brought in Fihri to do a Period Palooza with us! It was a fun bonding experience but also felt great to be making a difference. Period poverty does not get a lot of attention, so I really enjoyed being able to give back to women who experience this.” First year student, Victoria Symock, ’27 and student member of the IWL felt, “The period palooza was a wonderful opportunity for our women on campus to support women off campus! We were able to extend our love and support to those at Abby’s House and have fun while doing it! I am so thankful that IWL and Fihri coordinated such a memorable experience.”

Another first year student, Brigid Sheehan ’27, said that “As women, our menstrual needs are often overlooked. Decorating and filling the period packs was not only a fun thing to do, but it was also fulfilling knowing the packs were going to a wonderful place through an admirable organization.”

For more information on Fihri and how to help them, please visit

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