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This month marks the third year we will be attending the United Nations commission on the Status of Women as an official Big Ocean delegation!
This year Big Ocean is taking two outstanding delegations! As usual, we will be attending as a leadership body and will  be presenting on Big Ocean maternal feminism. Also, for the first time ever we are bringing a Big Ocean youth delegation which we are calling our “Youth Ambassadors.” This has been many months in the making, and we are thrilled for the young women who will be presenting on our eight tenets! A big shout out to Jeanette Bennett, Amanda Wilkinson, Kim Landeen, and Ann Takasaki who have worked tirelessly preparing this special group for the experience.
Aside from the incredible opportunity we have to present our ideas on an international stage, there are many reasons why we attend the CSW every year. For starters, this meeting is important politically as it directly informs the United Nations policies related to worldwide society and economy (ECOSOC).  At the CSW there are 2 types of events. There are high security internal events within the actual UN buildings called “inside events,” and there are less formal events held in various locations surrounding the UN called “parallel events.” The inside events are important because this is where the language that will influence global policy is actually drafted and negotiated by special UN country representatives. For Big Ocean, these meetings help us better understand what specific trends and world attitudes we will start seeing trickle down at the home front. This is how we can better inform and prepare at the local level, through our cottages and communities.
My very favorite events are the less formal ones. They are called “parallel events.” This is where so many of the grassroots nonprofit leaders come to present, connect, and network together. During these parallel events, presenters share ways in which their nonprofit or “NGO”  is addressing some of the most pressing world issues of our day. Although there have been times where differences in world views have clashed, there is an undeniable energy about these women that is truly inspiring! So many have traveled from distant communities all over the globe, seeking for solutions and connections that will help strengthen their communities. As we talk with them and share ideas, there is a tangible feeling of sisterhood. As many hear our message and philosophy, they are enthusiastic and want to join our movement! Through the years it has been eye opening to see that so many of these local leaders likewise believe in faith family and motherhood!
Because of the diversity of presenters and attendees, rest assured we will have many fascinating and important conversations. Among many reasons why we attend each year, is for the chance we have to dialogue with women who hold starkly different world views. This is where as Big Ocean leadership we are able to put into practice our commitment to stand for faith, family, and motherhood with articulateness, integrity, and diplomacy while being kind and compassionate listeners. Through our many conversations thus far, we have learned and shared so much, and walked away from many conversations with a a greater appreciation for our human family.

Our hope for this year is that we can honorably represent each and every one of you! As our Youth Ambassadors share our eight tenets with the world, we will be shining a light for the nations of the world! Remember that we are all in this together, and that the work we do within our hearts and homes has a far reaching influence.   Please keep us in your prayers as we share this message with the world!