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Melissa  Berton

Melissa Berton

Academy Award Winning Producer, Period. End of Sentence.


An Academy Award winning producer for Best Documentary Short (2019), Melissa Berton is a Los Angeles-based teacher and writer. For the past decade she has taught English at Oakwood Secondary School, where she inspired her students to make the film Period. End of Sentence. to raise awareness about the importance of menstrual health and education worldwide. When Period. End of Sentence won an Oscar, Berton told the audience: "A period should end a sentence, not a girl's education." Continuing in that revolutionary spirit and building on the momentum of the acclaimed documentary, her new book Period. End of Sentence.: A New Chapter in the Struggle for Menstrual Justice outlines the challenges facing those who menstruate worldwide and the solutions championed by a new generation of body positive activists, innovators and public figures. Read More >

She is the CEO and founder of The Pad Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to the idea that “a period should end a sentence, not a girl’s education.” Berton has been a lifelong advocate for girls and women, serving as the faculty sponsor for Girls Learn International, a program of The Feminist Majority Foundation that advocates for equal access to education for all genders. She has thrice participated as a delegate to the Annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, where she oversaw the largest delegation of students to the U.N. from any one high school in the country.

A published poet, she was assistant editor at The Antioch Review for many years. Her screenplay Do Not Go Gentle, about the poet Dylan Thomas, had a live reading at the Geffen Theater in 2016, with Jack Black playing the role of Dylan Thomas. Berton took her BA from UCLA and her MFA in creative writing from Warren Wilson College. She is the recipient of the 2019 Eleanor Roosevelt Global Women’s Rights Award. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Period. End of Sentence Trailer

Oscar Speech

Fighting for Menstrual Equity

A Period Should End a Sentence, Not a Girl’s Education

The View Interview

Oscar Press Room

Speech Topics

A Period Should End a Sentence, Not a Girl’s Education.

Girls’ Education & The Global Economy

Facing into Privilege: Empowering Young Activists