Founders of the Prayer Vigil for the Earth
The Prayer Vigil for the Earth began with Sharon Franquemont's vision of an eagle flying above and below the ground the entire length of the National Mall in Washington, DC. At the conclusion of the vision, the eagle revealed a group of people in prayer next to the Washington Monument. As soon as Sharon described her vision to the Native leader present, he said, "Call Betsy Stang. She has a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in New York that works on behalf of Native people at the United Nations (UN) and all over the world." After hearing from Sharon, Betsy consulted Native elders who supported a call to prayer in Washington DC, and she also told Sharon, "I just met David Berry who works at the White House Council on Environmental Quality and who helped Thomas Banyacya get the Hopi Prophecies into the UN. If you want to do this event in Washington DC, call David." The connections were instant and the partnership and friendship of the "three Leos" continues after fifteen years. Native people remain the host tradition at the Prayer Vigil for the Earth.
Sharon Franquemont has been dedicated to intuition for more than 30 years. She is a coach, consultant, teacher, reader, and writer in the field. Working with the Life Science Foundation, Minneapolis, MN, which explores health and wellbeing, 21st century science, education and consciousness, Sharon brings her expertise as an author, professor, coach and consultant to the public. Her experience includes teaching graduate students at JFK University, delivering intuition training and coaching for employees of major companies, presenting speeches to US and international audiences, writing books, recording tape sets and traveling the world to promote s the wisdom of intuition.
Reverend Betsy Stang is the Founder and Executive Director of The Wittenberg Center for Alternative Resources in Woodstock, NY. She is an interfaith Minister, counselor, and Earth Activist. She is the Presiding minister and Founder of the Center for The Living Earth and directs the Center's Interfaith Seminary program. Betsy co-founded The Earth Reunion Project in 1990, which works with traditional wisdom keepers of Earth traditions from around the world. In 1993, she co-produced The Cry of the Earth: The Legacy of the First Nations Conference at the United Nations, where the tradition keepers of seven indigenous nations of North America presented their ancient prophecies to the United Nations for the first time in history. From 1993-2001 The Wittenberg Center co-sponsored Mending the Hoop of All Nations: With One Voice, One Heart, One Mind, One Prayer in Washington DC. She has been the Wittenberg Center's chief representative in its role as a non-governmental organization at the UN, and co-founded the Earthkeepers working group, which has helped bring the voice of grassroots Earth-based and indigenous representatives to UN conferences. Over the past decades, Betsy has produced The Wittenberg Center's video archive project, which documented, preserved and distributed hundreds of hours of archival video material on environmental and indigenous concerns and issues.
David Berry was ordained by Namgyal Rinpoche a few weeks before his death. While David conducts retreats, his spiritual work is often “under cover,” weaving spirituality into talks in sustainability in Europe Asia and the Americas. David has been invited to speak on sustainability and spirituality at the Russian Academy of Science to scientists from around the world and has served on two committees of the National Academy of Science of the United States. In 1992, David helped a Hopi Elder fulfill a prophecy to speak at the Great House of Mica (the UN). After that event, following the same kind of shimmering trail through circumstances that led to the fulfillment of the Hopi prophecy, David was assigned to the White House Council on Environmental Quality for six years chairing Interagency Groups he co-founded on Sustainable Development Indicators and Industrial Ecology. The groups under David’s leadership, raised awareness of environmental, social and economic trends, supported collaboration among Agencies and encouraged creative action by individuals and organizations.