2020 – Pilgrimage: Remove the E.R.A. Deadline

Folk Artist circa 1970s. Gifted to Helene Swanson by Laura X on her second pilgrimage.

Who: Helene de Boissiere-Swanson, Founder, Katrina’s Dream

What: Pilgrimage to Remove the Deadline on the E.R.A.

Why:To Petition the Senate to Vote Yea! on S.J. Res. 6

When:July 19, 2020, Seneca Falls Convention 172nd Anniversary – August 26, 2020, Women’s Equality Day

Where: Start – Mailboxes on 5th, Park Slope, NY
Destination  St. Saviour’s Church, Bar Harbor, ME

Contact: Tammy Simkins, Owner, Co-Director – ERA Action
                     Tel: (740) 701-9137  Email: tammy.simkins@gmail.com

PARK SLOPE, NY –  On July 19, 2020, Helene de Boissiere –  Swanson will make her third pilgrimage: Walk the Talk: U.S. Congress  Remove the Deadline on the E.R.A. Swanson will leave from her late brother George‘s recently closed business Mailboxes on 5th in Park Slope, New York. George was instrumental in providing strategy and philosophy since the inception of Katrina’s Dream.  Swanson will be heading to St. Saviour’s Episcopal Church in Bar Harbor, Maine, where her mother-in-law, the Rev.  Katrina Swanson, one of the Philadelphia Eleven, celebrated the Liturgy in Thanksgiving for the Ordination of Women. Swanson is prayerfully petitioning Congress to remove the deadline on the Equal Rights Amendment.

As with the first two Walk the Talk pilgrimages, there is an indigenous spirit and multi-faith component to the walk and dedication to those who have gone before on the quest for equality for all humanity. The Walk the Talk pilgrimages were planned in three parts in order to be representative of the three quivers carried by The Sleeping Lady. The premise of the third spirit walk is that the Sleeping Lady is to join male spirit energy at Mt. Cadillac wherefrom that moment forward, when the sun rays first light upon the United States,  their spirits in unison travel across the land bringing Peace, Love and Understanding to all people.

Each day of the pilgrimage advocates across the nation will be encouraged to contact their U.S. Senators and petition them to co-sponsor S.J. Res. 6, and to reach out to their colleagues in an effort of non-artisan support and vote Yea! when S.J. Res 6, the resolution removing the deadline on the Equal Rights Amendment comes to the floor for a vote.  A script for petitioning Senators can be founded at The Power of 10.

Since 2017, three states have ratified meeting the necessary requirements to have an amendment included in the U.S. Constitution. The three states are Nevada (2017), Illinois (2018), and Virginia (2020). This past February 13, 2020, the U.S. House Chamber voted Yea! on H.J. Res 79. All that is now necessary is for the U.S. Senate Chamber is to join the U.S. House Chamber in voting Yea! on removing the deadline on the E.R.A. too. Then the E.R.A. will become the law of the land.

The Walk the Talk pilgrimages have been planned in three parts in order to be representative of the three quivers carried by The Sleeping Lady.  The premise is that the Sleeping Lady is to join male spirit energy at Mt. Cadillac wherefrom that moment forward, when the sun rays first light upon the United States,  their spirits in unison travel across the land bringing Peace, Love and Understanding to all people.

Over 1000 individuals signed postcards calling on the U.S. President to urge the U.S. Congress to remove the deadline on the E.R.A. Graphic Design: William Swanson

A Sentimental Journey, began on July  19, 2012, in Seneca Falls, N.Y. – 164th anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention where the Declaration of Sentiments was executed, following the 2012 General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America.  where Katrina’s Dream had an Exhibitor’s Booth promoting: Think Tank Thuto, an educational program in Botswana, Africa; Connecting Anglican Women in Theological Education, a fledgling worldwide Anglican group of women priests and lay leaders, and Close the Death Chamber and Natural Causes Killed Victor, a folk opera,  programs that explored prison reform; and Let’s Pass the Equal Rights Amendment, a women’s rights and empowerment program promoting the passage of the E.R.A. 

The pilgrimage began with Morning Prayer at Trinity Episcopal Church celebrated by The Rev. Robert T. Coolidge,  and William and Helene Swanson,  gathered for a quiet Morning Prayer service at Trinity Episcopal Church at 8:00 am. The service was led by Rev. Robert T. Coolidge, the former family historian for The Monticello Association. Following Morning Matins, the group headed over to the Women’s Rights National History Park, in Seneca Falls, N.Y., to the southwest area near the Wesleyan Chapel for a blessing of Helene by Rev. Coolidge and a short press conference held at 9:30 a.m.

William Swanson mails 1000+ postcards calling on President of the United States to urge Congress to pass the Equal Rights Amendment

Afterward, Helene and her husband, William, headed over to the Post Office, mailing off 1000+ postcards addressed to the President of the United States. As she walked Swanson met many sharing the urgency of passing the E.R.A  which ignited a spark across the country for the renewed effort.  Swanson was then on the road for the next 38 days making her way on foot from parish to parish on her way to the White House.   Along the way, Swanson met with many folk and reporters sharing the urgency of passing the Equal Rights Amendment to spotlight women’s empowerment, LBGTQ issues, and how the lack of the ERA is one of the contributing factors to racism. The walk ended at St. Stephen’s and the Incarnation, Washington, DC,  on August 26, 2012.

The Sleeping Lady Wakes artist  San Quentin, PrisonDeath Row artist (1993).

Swanson’s second pilgrimage A Quest for Equality started at the Round House at the Golden Gate Bridge, on March 8, 2014.  On the morning of the second pilgrimage, Helene and her son Harry shared some of the ashes of her late husband William Swanson at the Brighton Road access point for beaches in Bolinas, California at the base of Mt. Tamalpais,  to invoke waking the Spirit of the Sleeping Lady, a prophecy which hails from the days when the Coastal Miwok Indians lived in what is now known as Marin County. The Legend of the Sleeping Lady is that one day she rises to awaken the nation carrying three quivers which represent Peace, Love, and Understanding.

Swanson met with many legislators both on the state and federal level.  It was in Nevada that she met with activist Janette Dean whom she later introduced to Peggy Dolan Viney, having enjoyed Easter dinner with the Dolan family who she met earlier that day at Trinity Episcopal Church in Fallon, Nevada,  The Dolan family are descendants of one of the pioneering ranching Wilson Family, who settled Nevada the mid-1800’s and took in a young Piute boy known as Wovonka.  Jeanette Dean along with many other activists moved Nevada to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Dean testified at a 2015 Nevada legislative hearing crediting Swanson’s pilgrimage for inspiring her to organize efforts for Nevada to ratify the E.R.A.  In 2017, Nevada became the first state to ratify in the 21st century.

A banner showing the pilgrimage route Graphic Design: Portia Boulger and Rev. Kathryn A. Piccard

Following an attempted sexual assault and theft of her mobile phone in Salt Lake City, Utah,  where police discounted Swanson’s claim of the assault stating that she was a homeless woman and no real harm had been done and refused to take her report that a human rights activist from Ohio reached out to offer their support.  It was with the support of Portia Boulger that many organizations came to endorse the pilgrimage and the national effort coalesce to remove the deadline and have the three necessary states ratify.

Advocates gather in front of the White House to promote the passage of the E.R.A. Photo Credit: Longfei Zhang

The pilgrimage concluded with a service celebrated by Bishop Joe Morris Doss at St. Stephen’s and the Incarnation in Washington, DC,  Doss blessed the advocates accompanying Swanson on the final four miles of the 7,000-mile pilgrimage and historic march on Women’s Equality Day to the U.S. Capitol where they rallied for passage of the E.R.A.

Statements were issued by Senator Cardin and Representative Speier. and former Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first woman elected as a primate in the Anglican Communion, Schori’s statement read,  ” The Equal Rights Amendment is long past due.  This nation’s founders proclaimed their belief in the fundamental dignity and equality of all “men,” when they meant white land-owning males who had reached the age of majority.  We have struggled over the centuries since to expand these basic rights to all citizens of this nation, including African-Americans, Native Americans, immigrants, and women.  Discrimination under the law is untenable for Christians, who proclaim that all human beings are made in the divine image, and that “God made them male and female.”  Episcopalians profess to strive for justice and peace among all people and to respect the dignity of every human being.  I urge all people to do what you can to see that three more states ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, so that ALL may be protected under the law from unconscionable discrimination.”

To follow Helene’s pilgrimage Walk the Talk: Remove the Deadline on the E.R.A. Click Here.

To support Helene’s pilgrimage with a donation Click Here.

To have your organization/group added their endorsement email organize@katrinasdream.org.

To collaborate in petitioning the U.S. Senate join the weekly national non-partisan program The Call held on Wednesday at 12:00 ET  direct dial number is (909) 318-7361


Chillicothe Ross League of Women Voters

ERA Action