Provo’s Carolina Allen believes the pro-family movement needs young mothers to move the work forward with strategic and coordinated efforts. And her effort matches her mantra.
This 35-year-old mother of five took 25 LDS women to the UN Commission on the Status of Women in March 2015, and now she is gathering 50 like-minded women to attend the World Congress of Families, which is coming to the United States for the first time by hosting the event in Salt Lake City during the last week of October. Big Ocean has been selected as a partner for World Congress of Families, which means the group will have an exhibit at the event, be listed as a sponsor and featured in WCF9 materials.
“We are attending to learn more about the pro-family movement and also to educate others about our experiences as mothers and our beliefs on the pertinent issues,” says Carolina, who named the group Big Ocean Women to reflect the vast ocean of mothers and pro-family women around the world.
“Attending this event will be life-changing for us, and our delegation will be focusing on five specific topics so we can multiply our efforts and our voices,” she says.
Big Ocean Women representatives are each focusing on one or more of these selected topics:
1) Pornography and sexual exploitation
2) Pro-life perspectives
3) Faith and religious expression
4) Global family advocacy
5) Education and parental rights
Attendees will be selecting sessions based on their selected area of focus, and they will be taking notes and sharing thoughts on social media, blogs and traditional media sources.
As they did in New York at the UN convention, Big Ocean Women will be starting the day with a devotional to strengthen and unite as women who come from different states, careers and family situations. The group will also be wearing Big Ocean buttons and passing out fliers about their beliefs, which are largely based on the LDS Young Women values.
“As a group we want to be fluent on these topics, and we also want to motivate others to take action,” Carolina says. “Our strategy is focused on creating more advocates.”
Big Ocean Women have been tutored and mentored throughout the year by Susan Roylance, author and long-time international pro-family voice.
“I am thrilled beyond my ability to describe to have younger women doing the right things and advocating for the family,” Susan says. “It means so much to me because I’m getting older. These women are our future.”
Carolina has grabbed media attention for her use of the term “maternal feminism,” which promotes the inherent strengths of women based on their biology and their God-given traits. Maternal feminism is a philosophical platform that serves to unite women across religions and cultures. It focuses on the innate strength and power of women, which makes them complementary to men in the gender conversation. The busy but ambitious women of Big Ocean are upbeat but have encountered opposition.
“We are for marriage between a man and a woman. We are for the sanctity of life. We are not a hate group, although our beliefs have been misconstrued even by people in our neighborhoods and within our own religions,” Carolina says. “Our organization gives us a sisterhood to rely on when things get tough. We are standing together and we are standing for God’s plan, and we love all people. Even though there are some issues where we disagree, there are plenty more topics we can collaborate on. We seek common ground whenever possible.”
Big Ocean Women is seeking a few more pro-family voices to fill the 50 delegation spots for World Congress of Families. If you are interested, email email@example.com.