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Celebrating ten years of building community, sharing hope, and standing for justice

Upcoming Events

Please join us for any of these upcoming ESTHER events!

  • To learn more about a particular event, click on its title
  • To see the complete ESTHER calendar, click on 'more' at the bottom right of the listing
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 (All day) TIP 11 X 15 WISDOM Prison REFORM NOW Action Madison Location TBA
Friday, October 3, 2014 - 7:00pm Dead Man Walking Film/ Author Sister Helen Prejean, Banquet Speaker First Congregational UCC, Appleton Theater
Monday, October 6, 2014 - 5:30pm TIP 11 X 15 Task Force St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 140 South Green Bay Road, Neenah
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 - 11:00am Religious Leaders Caucus- Speaker Ron Dunlap and Book Study- "Why Are the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?" Memorial Presbyterian Church, 803 East College Ave., Appleton
Thursday, October 9, 2014 - 3:00pm ESTHER Leadership Board TIME CHANGE for October to 3:00 pm First Congregational UCC, Appleton Riverside Room Downstairs

10th Annual ESTHER Banquet Featuring Sr. Helen Prejean

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Join us as we celebrate a Decade of Justice at ESTHER's 10th annual banquet!

Sunday, December 7th - 5:00 PM

Radisson Paper Valley (333 W College Ave), Appleton

We are very excited to have Sister Helen Prejean as the keynote speaker for our gathering!  Nobel Peace Prize nominee, most prominently known as the author of the book Dead Man Walking, also adapted into a movie and opera. She is steadfast in her fight for fair treatment of those incarcerated and her stance against the death penalty. Sr. Helen sparks the national dialogue on capital punishment and compassionate treatment of prisoners. She engages the faith community to take action.

Tickets are $40 and can be purchased online at

Meal options include pistachio crusted mahi mahi, roasted sirloin, and vegetable stir fry (vegan/gluten-free).

Download a copy of the flyer for printing here.


Poverty Summit for the Fox Valley: September 23rd, 2:00-4:30 PM at St. John UCC in Appleton

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Please join us!

Greater Fox Valley Poverty Summit especially for Faith Leaders, Ministry Leaders, and People of Faith


When: Tuesday, September 23rd

Time: 2:00-4:30

Where: St. John UCC, Appleton (1130 W Marquette St.)


Join us for an afternoon of learning and sharing as we grapple with:

  • What poverty looks like in Wisconsin and in the Fox Valley region?
  • What is our distinctive voice as people of faith in the public square?
  • How can we make a difference in alleviating poverty?


To RSVP, email us at or call 920-843-8083.

Click here to download a printable flyer.


Public Hearing & Candidate Forum on Prison Reform

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Inmate in a cellTell your legislators what you think! ESTHER’s Treatment Instead of Prison (TIP) task force is sponsoring a candidate forum and public hearing on Sept. 23 in Neenah. At the last forum, legislators came together for true dialogue around the table. The public gets to hear and better understand legislators’ positions on issues of prison reform. If you have a question or story to share, this is your chance!

Help spread the word; download and share the flyer here (PDF;1.6 meg)

Fox Valley Interfaith Gathering Set for September 21, 2014

Audience listening to speaker at Interfaith GatheringFox Valley Islamic Society Interfaith Gathering

103 Kappell Drive, Neenah

Sunday, September 21, 2014

3:00pm Program, 5:30pm Dinner


Once again the Fox Valley Islamic Society is inviting all churches, synagogues and people of faith in the Fox Valley to their Annual Interfaith Gathering at their mosque (103 Kappell Drive, Neenah). The meeting will gather over 200 people of faith in the Fox Valley to hear speakers talk about Establishing Peace based on Justice and Fairness from the perspective of various faith leaders in our community. September 21 is also the 30th anniversary of the United Nation’s International Day of Peace—What better way to demonstrate our striving for peace than this interfaith dialogue?

After the speakers and table discussions, our hosts have invited all to eat a special meal together. For many years this special event gathers people of many faiths, allows us to learn together, meet one another and share a common meal together.  All are invited.

(In case of inclement weather, the gathering will be held at St Mark’s Lutheran Church, 140 S. Green Bay Road, Neenah.)

For more information, contact FVIS President Mohammad Rashid at 920-809-5333

Freedom Summer Comes Home: Sept. 13th from 11:30 – 4:00



50th Anniversary Observation!

Sept. 13th from 11:30 – 4:00

Opera House Square in Oshkosh WI


Download flyer here.

Pink Dots Everywhere - ESTHER's First "Issues Night" a Big Success!

Issues Night participants placing their "pink dots" to vote on issuesForty people gathered in at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Menasha on July 22 for ESTHER's first “Issues Night.” In an hour and a half of conversation, dozens of important community concerns were raised, explored, and voted upon. When the dust had settled, seven issues had risen to the top. A couple were already on ESTHER's radar, but the majority were new to us. Want to compare your list to ours? Click “read more” below …

Sr. Helen Prejean Coming to Fox Valley

Sister Helen Prejean speaking into microphone

Mark your calendars!

We are thrilled to announce that Sr. Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking and tireless advocate for humane treatment of incarcerated persons, will be the keynote speaker at ESTHER’s 2014 Annual Banquet on December 7th. Celebrating 10 Years of Justice, ESTHER invites the entire community to hear this compelling speaker, reminisce with friends, find holiday treasures in the silent auction, and look ahead to ESTHER's next 10 years.

  • Sunday, December 7 (no Packer Game that day)
  • 5:00-8:30 PM
  • Radisson Paper Valley, 333 W College Ave, Appleton


Another $1.5 Million for Treatment Alternatives!

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The state legislature recently approved a $1.5 million annual increase to the TAD (Treatment Alternatives and Diversions) fund. This amount builds on the $1.5 million increase that was approved in the summer of 2013. In the past year, funding for treatment alternatives has gone from $1 million per year to $4 million per year. Based on the past performance of TAD programs, we can conservatively estimate that the $3 million/year increase will result in:

“Voices From Inside: Wisconsin Prisoners Speak Out”

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Cover of Voices from Inside“Voices From Inside: Wisconsin Prisoners Speak Out” is now available. The book contains excerpts from some of the hundreds of letters WISDOM has received from inmates since the start of the 11×15 campaign. The letters touch upon a variety of themes, and each of them reminds us that prisoners are human beings with hopes, dreams, regrets and questions. The letters are accompanied by reflections from judges, bishops, pastors and others, as well as important facts about the criminal justice system.

Books can be obtained from any local WISDOM group or from the WISDOM office—3195 S. Superior St., #310, Milwaukee, WI 53207. A $5 donation per book is suggested.

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