February 04, 2016
NOLA Suffragettes Ashlee Mixson, Madeline Murphy and Tulane Law grads Sayde Finkel and Ashley Becnel (both L ’08) and Lindsay Reeves (L ’09) plan to collect feminine products for homeless women and girls during Mardi Gras Day parades.
Photo courtesy of the NOLA Suffragettes
By Barri Bronston
When Tulane Law alumna Sayde Finkel (L ’08) and her friends were pondering ideas for Mardi Gras costumes last year, they decided to dress as suffragettes but with a contemporary spin. So, in addition to period dresses, vintage hats and “Votes for Women” sashes, they carried protest signs that focused on modern-day women’s empowerment.
This year, the women — known as the NOLA Suffragettes — will hit the streets again on Fat Tuesday (Feb. 9), this time taking their activism to a whole new level. Using the theme “Support Our Sisters. Period,” they plan to collect feminine products from paradegoers to donate to homeless women and girls.
“In New Orleans, we have this balance of work and play that allows us to put on these costumes and at the same time let people know that they can help preserve the dignity and personal health of women right here in our community,” Finkel says.
Joining Finkel will be fellow Tulanians Ashley Becnel (NC ’04, L ’08) and Lindsay Reeves (L ’09), along with Madeline Murphy, Ashlee Mixson and Leslie Heindel. They plan to concentrate their efforts in the French Quarter and Faubourg Marigny neighborhoods.
Donations will go to such shelters as Covenant House New Orleans, the New Orleans Women & Children’s Shelter, New Orleans Mission and the Salvation Army of Greater New Orleans.
Finkel said the response leading up to Fat Tuesday has been amazing, with donations coming in from as far away as the United Kingdom.
“This is our chance to let people know about the unseen but real struggles that homeless women face when trying to access feminine products,” Finkel said. “We soak up so much fun this time year, and it just feels great to give something back.”
For more information, go to the group’s Amazon wish list or to NOLA SUFFRAGETTES on Facebook, @NOLASUFFRAGETTES on Instagram or @NOLASUFFRAGETTE on Twitter.
Barri Bronston is Tulane University’s assistant director of public relations.