Parliament of the World’s Religions: Flash mob energizes conference crowd

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SHEROES United helped make the plenary session “Focus on Women” a success by energizing the audience with a

Marilyn Sorensen and 300 other tribal leaders and volunteers helped lead a flash mob
Marilyn Sorensen and 300 other tribal leaders and volunteers helped lead a flash mob at Friday’s Focus on Women plenary session at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City. (Danica Baird)

passionate chant to inspire women and then helped culminate the performance with a flash mob dance.

SHEROES United was founded in Salt Lake City after six women discovered that they all had been abused, raped, or trapped in violent domestic relationships.

The idea came from a statistic shared worldwide in 2013 that projected there would be one billion women raped, beaten or murdered in their lifetime. Since then, SHEROES has attempted to gather women and men all over the world to help combat the violence and to inspire unity on the issue. SHEROES works to help fight domestic violence, child abuse, human and sex trafficking and issues faced by women in the military.

The organization also performs flash mobs titled, “One Billion Rising,” on Valentine’s Day all over the country to help bring awareness about women who are trapped in violent relationships. This year, they expect the flash mob dance to occur in more than 200 countries across the world.

At the Parliament, more than 300 volunteers gathered to help lead the flash mob dance. Alan Kirkham from Stansbury, Utah, explained that he wanted to get involved because everybody deserves to be treated fairly.

“Being part of a movement of women realizing their equality is inspiring,” Kirkham said. “They’re not seeking answers. They’ve already found them. It’s just great to be a part of it.”

The chaplain for SHEROES is Jennifer Wright from West Jordan, Utah. She said she got involved four years ago because she is a survivor of physical and sexual abuse.

“I was able to come from that space of being a victim and use that in my daily life, whether it’s treating patients I see every day, my children, or the people I come in contact with,” Wright said.

For Wright, the best part of SHEROES is to be able to be a light and an unconditional presence.

“All people all around the world, not just women, everybody needs love and peace,” Wright said.

Marilyn Sorensen from Kenya also was drawn to the organization because in parts of her country, the practice of female mutilation is still practiced. She was drawn to SHEROES because of their efforts to help stop such practices.

“SHEROES brings the spotlight to human trafficking, to domestic violence, and to women who have been taken advantage of by men, or other women or even commercialization,” Sorensen said.

More Universe coverage of the Parliament of the World’s Religions:

An introduction to the Parliament of World’s Religions conference

Parliament of World’s Religions opens in Salt Lake City with first-ever Women’s Assembly

Parliament of World’s Religions: Mending young hearts, healing the legacy of trauma

Parliament of the World’s Religions: Opening ceremony celebrates people of all faiths

Parliament of the World’s Religions: Magic demonstrates the golden rule

Parliament of the World’s Religions: Flash mob energizes conference crowd

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