Everyone deserves to live in a healthy and safe environment. That environment includes where you live, work, play, and pray. We reject and actively push back against racist rhetoric, actions, policies and institutional oppression that leads to state-sanctioned brutality, gun violence, and harm that again and again assaults communities, particularly communities of color. We are committed to working for justice and equity, and are in solidarity with social, racial, and environmental justice organizations to build community, understanding and honest dialogue to address the root causes of violence, harm and hate.

WVE Fellows Artivism Projects

Combining art and activism to create the change we want to see.
Enjoy these artivism projects by WVE’s 2021-2022 Fellows.

Umyeena Bashir
California Intimate Care Organizing Fellow

Umyeena Bashir is a graduate student at the University of San Francisco studying Organic Chemistry. She has expertise in chemical synthesis, organic research methods, and large scale data processing. Currently, she is working on developing new types of antibiotics against staph bacteria to address the rise in MRSA. Umyeena has a strong desire to address period stigma, period poverty, and proper menstrual care management. She has conducted research on period access, education and inclusivity and worked with local charities in her community to learn about the menstrual needs of the underserved. Read Umy’s blog post here and here.

Title Painting I: Honest Flower

The inspiration of this painting comes from the idea that a vagina is symbolized as a flower. This perception stigmatizes vaginas are delicate, soft, and fragile, perpetuating that vaginas are sacred. If something were to happen to this “flower”, it would be ruined. This metaphor of a vagina is problematic in that it fails to acknowledge the menstrual cycle, a very big part of the vaginal identity. Menstruation is not a ‘flowery’ process. Infact, for many it is painful, uncomfortable, and embarrassing. Thus, with this painting, I wanted to paint this stigma by painting the vagina as a dark flower with black and dark colors, taking in that the vagina is indeed beautiful, but menstruation (symbolized by the colors) is also a part of that identity.

Title Painting II: Beach Water

The inspiration of this painting comes from a personal experience I witnessed. My friend and I were at the beach enjoying the San Diego sun. As we both got up to take a dip in the water, a man comes by and calls out to my friend and proceeds to cat-call her. She was very uncomfortable with his remarks. However, as she turned to face away from him, he started to squeal in the distance. He was shouting ”Ew that is just gross!” My friend then looked behind her back and noticed her period had started. From this incident, I wanted to paint an image that embodied that event in the way my friend was perceived and how menstruation is perceived. I chose primary colors to represent the basic nature of the woman body in a bold way. It brings attention to a woman’s figure, something that is often sexualized. The period blood dripping between the woman’s legs in this actualization of that a woman’s body is not just a sexual object but also is a human body that goes through natural biological processes. That is why the red blood is strong and very visible.

Mrittika Howlader
New York Intimate Care Organizing Fellow

Mrittika is a proud first-generation American woman. She is also a sophomore at Barnard College passionately double majoring in Human Rights and Women’s Studies. Whilst volunteering at the NYCLU, she, along with her peers, asked the tough questions to the next generation of policymakers and pushed for long-term structural change. She also led multiple peer education sessions with topics ranging from sex education to biometric surveillance and regularly participated in city-wide protests and campaigns. Read Mrittika’s blog posts on menstrual equity issues here and here.

Rena Chen
New York Intimate Care Organizing Fellow

Rena Chen is a Chinese American born and raised in the United States. She is currently attending Brooklyn Technical High School, studying medicine, but she is also passionate about humanitarian issues like women’s rights, reproductive care and equality for all races. Rena is the founder and president of the Period Awareness Club at her high school, which focuses on issues relating to menstrual care and equity, which hosts events that focus on bringing awareness and resolution to such disparities in society through education and action. Read Rena’s blog post, here.

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