Youth Action Council (YAC)

If you are a high-school or college student, live in North Dakota, and want to get engaged in your community, this organization is for you!

We meet once or twice a month over Zoom. Outside of these meetings, we are engaged in projects, opportunities, seminars, and more that promote equality in North Dakota.

To join or learn more, email yac@ndwomen.org,

join our Google Classroom page with the code wyyisdm (you must use a personal email address),

or follow ndwn_yac on Instagram, TikTok, or Twitter!

 

What are we currently working on?

North Dakota, along with many other states, has a long way to go in terms of seeing menstrual equity and equality. Our state still taxes menstrual products, often making them inaccessible to low-income people with periods. In our schools, periods are treated as something to be ashamed of. Students have to pay for the menstrual supplies in school bathrooms or even go to the nurse's or counselor's office to obtain them. Sex Ed classes do not always cover relevant, accurate, and thorough information about menstruation. In our classrooms and our culture, harmful stereotypes about periods and people with uteri are shockingly prevalent. 

It is high time that we ended menstrual inequity in North Dakota. Created by the YAC, the North Dakota Period Project is aimed at taking a stand against the stigmas and injustices surrounding menstruation. This project will encompass a series of activities, fundraisers, awareness campaigns, and rallies designed to promote menstrual equity.

Our Youth Action Council, partnered with statewide organizations, is incredibly excited to announce that we are kicking off our Period Project by holding Period Pack assembly days to help make menstrual supplies more accessible. So far, we have held assembly days in Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks and with your help, we have assembled over 900 Period Packs! These packs are pencil cases filled with menstrual products, information cards, and more that we distribute to schools, shelters, and those in need.

Our next Period Pack Assembly Day will take place in Jamestown on Saturday, March 19th from 1-3pm at the McKenna Theilsch building atrium on the University of Jamestown campus (6000 College Ln, Jamestown, ND 58405). We are also looking forward to at least two more assembly days this spring in Dickinson and Valley City! Please join us to help us put together pencil cases with menstrual supplies and more to distribute to those in need. 

We are also collecting donations; supplies such as tampons, pads, liners, pencil pouches/cases, mini bottles of lotion or hand sanitizer, new pairs of underwear, etc. are very much appreciated! You can bring donations with you to our assembly days or drop them off at

  • Central Valley District Health, 122 2nd St NW, Jamestown March 7-18 during normal business hours
  • North Dakota Women's Network office 1929 North Washington St Suite W, Bismarck March 14-18 during normal business hours

Or, to make monetary donations, please visit our Give Lively page!

Thank you so much to everyone who has donated to, attended, and helped to host these assembly days. Your contributions are much appreciated!

If you want to join in our fight against period stigma and take a stand for menstrual equity, this is your chance! We ask for your donations, support, and participation in order to buy and assemble supplies. With any questions on how you can help, please email yac@ndwomen.org or call (701) 712-9600.

 

Art is one of the most powerful things that unites us as people. It's a way to share our ideas, our cultures, our dreams, and our stories. So when we erase female artists, we're missing out on a lot of different perspectives. In our schools, communities, and life in general, we tend to overlook women in the art world, especially women of color and women in the LGBTQ+ community. That's a problem that we need to fix.

In the summer of 2021, our Youth Action Council, with the support of the Bismarck Veterans Memorial Public Library and the Dakota West Arts Council, created Art Empowered: a Camp for Kids. This 4-day camp was completely free to the public, art supplies and t-shirts included. Each day of camp, our YAC volunteers taught the kids about two female artists, their art styles, and the challenges that they overcame. Then, the kids learned about a new artistic medium and created their own artwork in these new mediums and styles.

Through Art Empowered, we taught younger generations about self-expression, art history, feminism, creativity, empowerment, and much more, and we had fun doing it! We hope to repeat this camp in years to come.

 

Reading for Equality

Diversity, inclusion, empowerment, and equality can be difficult topics to tackle. That's why our Youth Action Council is breaking them down through picture books! Through Reading for Equality, our YAC members have gone into preschool-elementary school classrooms and read books about such topics, followed up with a class discussion. Over the 2021-2022 winter break, we read books about Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa and shared various holiday and cultural traditions.