VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK: Asia Brown bridging the gap for women’s health

Published 8:00 am Sunday, June 25, 2023

This week’s Vicksburg Post Volunteer of the Week is Asia Brown, a volunteer and co-founder of 601 for Period Equity. Brown is a Vicksburg native and a 2023 graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga. She is pursuing her Master’s of Nursing at Emory University and aspires to work in women’s health. Brown is the co-founder of 601 for Period Equity, a nonprofit that provides menstrual hygiene supplies and other necessities to families in Vicksburg, Jackson and beyond. 

How did 601 for Period Equity begin?

My younger sister, Laila, and I started 601 for Period Equity on Jan. 17, 2021. We were both serving as ambassadors for a global non-profit called The Pad Project when we learned about period poverty (the inability to access menstrual health supplies due to poverty). We felt compelled to start a project in Vicksburg to assist families impacted by period poverty. We utilized social media to spread the word about our project and began getting so many donations and community support. Within a week of launching, we donated over 300 care packages to local organizations. To date, we have distributed thousands of products to individuals and organizations across the state, and in May 2023, we opened Rosie’s Pantry, a physical space in Vicksburg that provides families with diapers and menstrual products.

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What is your favorite memory while volunteering with 601 for Period Equity?

My favorite volunteer memory was last December when 601 for Period Equity volunteered at the Hope Luncheon for Incarcerated Women at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility. The Hope Luncheon was started by Representative Lataisha Jackson a few years ago and provides incarcerated women with hygiene supplies and holiday dinners. 601 for Period Equity was able to provide menstrual hygiene products to over 800 women and hear first-hand the experiences of incarcerated women in Mississippi. 

What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering? 

I would tell them that this work is super fulfilling. I really enjoy seeing the joy on women’s faces when we provide them with supplies.

What are some of your tasks while volunteering? 

Typically volunteers help with assembling care packages and volunteering in Rosie’s Pantry. Volunteers assist with stocking the pantry and bringing supplies out to people coming for assistance.

What have you learned from volunteering with 601 for Period Equity? 

Since co-founding and starting 601 for Period Equity in 2021, I have learned the power of community and the importance of coming together to meet community needs. We are stronger together.

How can someone participate with 601 for Period Equity?

We are always looking for new volunteers, especially in Vicksburg. You can volunteer with us in Rosie’s Pantry every second and fourth Saturday of the month. We are located at 718 Bowmar Ave. and distribute supplies from noon to 2 p.m. You can also follow us on Instagram (@601forperiodequity) to hear about any upcoming volunteer opportunities.

If there is a volunteer who should be featured, please submit their name and contact information to volunteer@vicksburgpost.com.