Last week, on International Women’s Day we gathered with Visionary Women, an organization of (who else?) women devoted to “harnessing the power of leadership and community to embolden women to achieve their full potential”.

The power-packed bunch, including Beverly Hills mayor, Lili Bosse and top MGM exec, Shelley Reid (both of whom are board members), celebrated the first ever ‘Visionary Woman Award’, presented to Hollywood icon, Demi Moore for her work with Thorn.

Thorn, co-founded by Moore, works to develop and apply technology to intervene in the online sex trafficking of children. We were amazed to learn how Thorn’s cutting edge tools and programs have become resources for law enforcement and include interventions that have led to the arrest of over 6,000 predators.

In a year where so much is being done to bring to light abuses of power and the sexual exploitation of women, the unthinkable abuses of these young women (and men) stand out as an issue more crucial than ever. It’s our hope and belief that, as our culture addresses the issues of sexual abuse and misconduct more honestly and aggressively – from Hollywood on down, we can do more to care for and protect victims of all kinds.

Poet Gina Loring shared this powerful piece during last week’s ceremony for Demi Moore and we asked her permission to share it here with you…

Walking Prayers
We are walking prayers
angels leave love letters in our palms
our hands speak scripture
we are life givers, meant for sacred work
we build bodies in our bodies
babies born of our day dreams
who will one day tell our stories
we tend to them in backseats and bathroom stalls
lullabies and love hymns
we pray over them
may they be safe, may they be strong
may they be safe, may they be strong
this is our song: our mother, sister, daughter, woman warrior song
we wear wounded hearts like badges of courage
carrying the weight of the world on each shoulder
collecting lessons in battle scars
we are peace treaties
our hips the framework for families
the foundation where God’s magic takes tangible form
future generations depend on the resilience of our bodies
and what will we tell them
when boys-only tree houses
grow up to be boys-only governments
boys, boys who have forgotten their first home was their mother’s womb
took their first breath in the embrace of her arms
we must remind them
from our breast you were fed
we are shelter
we are vessel
our wombs are holy ground
so violating a woman
is a violation against God
a sin against yourself, karmic suicide
we are sacred geometry
divine pyramids and astrology
not to be thrown away like pearls to swine
meant to be honored not objectified
we were not always swayed by billboards

beckoning from boulevard rooftops
photoshopped glam shots
night clubs and hot spots
skylines laced with man made messages morphing
our self-images into warped anorexic fantasies
a gender-biased consumer agenda
has us grooming for days
eyebrows threaded, make-up applied, hair done
legs shaved, bikini waxed
push-up bra, high heels in tact
and we will never get those hours back
our reflection is not in red carpet mainstream movie stars
it is in the night sky, the moon’s soft mirror glow somewhere just past mars
women are the heartbeat of the world
we are regal, we are legacy:
Mary brought Jesus through
Jachabed brought Moses through
Aminah brought Muhammad through
Isis brought Horus through
Harriet Tubman brought hundreds through
we are warriors
our love is infinite
our voices are made of light
our hearts are harbor
our song, far and long
we are every continent
every smoke signal and psalm
every prayer, every element, day and night,
we are earth. air. water. sunlight
let us celebrate ourselves, be our own heroes
rewrite the fairytale so Sleeping Beauty wakes her own damn self up
slays the dragon, looks at herself in the mirror and says
Princess. I found you.

—gina loring

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