/ 06.16.21 /

Eva Marie Carney

This week’s #WCW is Eva Marie Carney, Founder and Operator of The Kwek Society, a nonprofit organization working to shine a light on and to address menstrual and other inequities in Native communities. Eva is a dual citizen of the United States and the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, an elected legislator for the Nation, and a human rights lawyer.

Eva’s eyes were opened to the shocking rate of period poverty on rural Native reservations when she read, “Why Many Native American Girls Skip School When They Have Their Periods” by Eleanor Goldberg. In this piece, a Pine Ridge Reservation student reports that about half of her friends can’t afford tampons or period pads so they have to skip school for as a long as a week when they are on their periods, and then fall farther and farther behind in class. 

Eva found untenable this injustice of missing out on school due to a lack of access to period products. She launched The Kwek Society with a particular focus on supplying Native American students in rural areas with period products. (“Kwe’k” means “women” in the Potawatomi language.) Eva created this organization as a way to help women and raise awareness of the importance of addressing inequities, which is why we are honored to feature her as our #WCW this month!