Dr. Ami Zota (she/her)
Dr. Ami Zota is an Associate Professor at the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. She directs the ARISE-EJ lab at GW whose mission is secure environmental justice and improve health equity through advancements in science, policy, clinical practice, & communication.
Her current research examines how social-structural factors, such as racism, classism, and sexism, shape beauty product use, environmental chemical exposures and the health of women and children. Ami is equally committed to science communication. Her work has been featured in high-impact media publications including the Washington Post, USA Today, and the Atlantic Monthly and has helped shape health and safety standards for consumer product chemicals. Dr. Zota is the founding director of Agents of Change in Environmental Justice program that empowers environmental justice leaders from historically excluded backgrounds in science.
M. Isabelle Chaudry is a lawyer and human rights advocate. She is the National Women’s Health Network’s (NWHN) Senior Policy Manager, responsible for developing and leading their women’s health and consumer safety policy efforts, with a particular focus on historically marginalized communities.
Isabelle actively lobbies, at the grassroots and federal level, on women’s health and cosmetics policy and has provided expert testimony before Congress and the Food and Drug Administration. Her advocacy has been recognized by Democracy Now!, PBS NewsHour, Good Morning America, NBC News and a host of other publications and networks.
Over the course of her career, Isabelle has worked in various policy areas including health, education, and labor. Isabelle has held clerkships with government, labor unions, and nonprofit organizations including, AFL-CIO, National Education Association, National Lawyers Employment Association (as a Peggy Browning Fellow), and Congress. Prior to joining NWHN, Isabelle served as a law clerk for the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Oversight Committee, and as an Associate Staff Counsel at the Pennsylvania State Education Association, advocating on behalf of union workers.
Isabelle earned a J.D. with distinction in Alternative Dispute Resolution from Howard University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from Howard University.
Dr. Astrid Williams represents Black Women for Wellness as the Environmental Justice and Reproductive Health Manager. Dr. Williams plays a central role in the development and coordination of deliverables as the Program Manager of the Sisters in Control Program.
Sisters in Control, spans environmental justice programs and healthy hair initiatives that are centered around health equity while creating a space that allows consumers, hair care and beauty professionals and social advocates to talk openly about the Black beauty industry. It also offers evidence-based research and practices that provide an environment which fosters an open dialogue to bring awareness of toxins and chemicals that can impact our health and supportive of healthy lifestyles.
Astrid’s professional experience spans over a decade in leadership roles with public and private hospitals and healthcare organizations and local non-profit foundations. She is a faculty member in higher education teaching and inspiring the next generation of healthcare leaders.
Astrid earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychobiology from University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), Master of Public Health and Doctorate Degree from Loma Linda University School of Public Health. Her specialties include chronic diseases, maternal and reproductive health.
Dr. Ebere Azumah is an OBGYN, and a co-founder and board president of Love Your Menses, a nonprofit organization that provides a platform for girls and young women of color to become more aware of their bodies and to embrace the transition period from pre-puberty into puberty.
Their goal is to create a safe and uplifting space to dispel myths surrounding menstruation while supporting young people to love their menses. Dr. Azumah and Love Your Menses are committed to breaking the period taboo in Black and Brown communities through evidence-based health education, resource connection, and mentorship.
Vaginal Health Week is a new annual week of action hosted by Women’s Voices for the Earth to uplift honest and open conversations about vaginal health. This year’s inaugural event is all about intimate care products from the history of these products, to modern day marketing and cultural conversations about why we choose to use — or not use — wipes, washes, douches, spray, powders and more. All week long we’ll be uplifting these conversations, including candid accounts from our own staff. The week’s main event is our panel discussion on Thursday, May 20, with Dr. Ami Zota, M. Isabelle Chaudry, Dr. Astrid Williams, and Dr. Ebere Azumah (see bios above). Please RSVP today for this virtual event!
We invite all people who have experience with intimate care products and are impacted by vaginal care and health to join us in these conversations as we listen and learn from one another. THANK YOU for being here!
When you sign up to give a one-time gift of $50 or more, or a recurring gift of $10 or more per month, you’ll receive a special #myperiodnoshame bag filled with period products from our partners!
Tell makers of intimate care products to put an end to toxic products and harmful marketing!
“…[t]he first question my doctor asked me was ‘Te estas lavando la vagina con jabon?’ (‘Are you washing your vagina with soap?’). I wasn’t, and we concluded that the discharge was just a normal thing for my body, and she recommended I use panty liners if I didn’t want my underwear to get dirty…” Read more.
Not only is research on the causes of vaginitis scant, the treatments available are truly inadequate, often only successful for the short term – and way too many people have recurring symptoms month after month. Read more.
Menstrual and intimate care products are used on and in some of the most sensitive body tissue, yet there is very little regulation over the safety of these products, and in many cases corporations are not even required to tell you what ingredients are used in these products. Learn more.
Targeting Black communities with predatory marketing for products linked to cancer is not a sign that Johnson & Johnson cares about the Black community. If it did, the company would commit to addressing the harm of their products. Read more.
VICTORY! Summer’s Eve has removed 10 toxic ingredients from their products. Unfortunately, underlying concerns with intimate care products continue to put our health at risk. Learn more.
Using language that infers that only women and girls have periods can be incredibly dangerous because it excludes the voices of many people who menstruate from important decisions and conversations about their health. Learn more.
The newly released pilot episode centers on toxic chemicals in menstrual and intimate care products — and includes interviews with WVE’s Director of Science and Research, Alex Scranton, and Deputy Director, Jamie McConnell. As hosts, Sally and Anna give a brief history of how these products have been developed and marketed. Learn more.