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Building community, sharing hope, and standing for justice since 2004

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 left of the listing
Thursday, May 28, 2020 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
How Highway Expansions Undermine Public Transit, Walking and Biking Zoom Webinar
Monday, June 1, 2020 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
ESTHER Prison Reform Task Force Zoom Meeting
Thursday, June 4, 2020 - 7:00pm
National Prayer Vigil for All Immigrants Zoom Webinar
Friday, June 5, 2020 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Mental Health Task Force Meeting Koi Coffee and Tea, 204 Main St, Menasha
Tuesday, June 9, 2020 - 6:30pm
ESTHER Immigration Task Force Zoom Meeting

How Highway Expansions Undermine Public Transit, Walking and Biking

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Date: 
Thursday, May 28, 2020 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Location: 
Zoom Webinar

Bus seats seen from floor levelSponsored by Coalition for More Responsible Transportation in Wisconsin.

Speakers include Beth Osborne from Transportation for America and Dennis Grzezinski on highway expansion and transit issues in LaCrosse.

Policymakers often present costly highway expansions as a critical solution to gridlocked traffic and unsafe roadways. But decades of evidence show that building bigger roads makes congestion worse. We also know that highway expansions negatively impact public health and safety, disproportionately harm low-income and minority communities, and undermine alternative forms of transportation in a variety of ways. Learn from expert presenters why bigger, wider roads won’t solve Wisconsin’s transportation problems.

RSVP here for Zoom link: https://forms.gle/MXo9uLByjrr3fUQX8

Read more about the event on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/173240474022207/

Fox Valley Bread for the World Offering of Letters Follow-up

ESTHER Faith Communities & Individual Members 

invited to participate in anti-hunger action

Fox Valley Bread for the World Offering of Letters
Follow up Action Needed 

On April 30, members of 12 Fox Valley faith communities—including ESTHER faith communities of Casa ESTHER, Catholics United-Appleton, First Congregational UCC, First English Lutheran, Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist, Memorial Presbyterian, Prince of Peace Lutheran, and St. Paul Lutheran—participated in a custom Fox Valley Bread for the World webinar to learn about action needed to address food insecurity and nutritional needs at this time.

Please join the effort to contact our Members of Congress urging them to address food insecurity and nutritional needs.   Here are three things you can do:

How Wisconsin Communities are Meeting the “Last Mile Challenge”

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Date: 
Thursday, June 18, 2020 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Location: 
Zoom Webinar

Sponsored by Coalition for More Responsible Transportation in Wisconsin.

Join us as we explore different transit systems in key Wisconsin cities. You'll hear from different individuals on the ease of using public transit in select cities and how these communities are addressing the “Last Mile Challenge,” or the challenge in completing the last segment of a transit trip in order to reach one’s final destination. Discussion and feedback will follow the presentation.

RSVP here to receive the Zoom link.

COVID-19 in Wisconsin Prisons: A Day of Action on May 20

View of State Capitol from DroneA Call to Action from WISDOM Executive Director David Liners:

Dear WISDOM Leaders,

This Wednesday (May 20) at 11 am, it will be time for WISDOM to Storm the Capitol. That is when we need everyone who is concerned about the health of the people in our prisons to contact Governor Evers. Let him know that this is the time to use the authority he has as Governor to safely reduce our prison population by at least 25%, starting with the elderly, the sick, those who pose no danger to society, and those who are due to come home soon anyway.

Please sign up here: https://forms.gle/ANMkArvsCqTPqcLPA

On the form, you can let us know how you will contact the Governor – by e-mail, by phone, on Facebook, or any way you are comfortable. We will send you back some ideas: talking points, memes, facts, that you can incorporate into your message.

Please share this with others. We need the Governor to understand that there are thousands of us, from all parts of the state, who are very concerned about the inevitable spread of COVID-19 in our prisons, endangering incarcerated people as well as the thousands of people who work in the prisons.

A recent report by the Legislative Reference Bureau made it very clear that Governor Evers has the authority to commute sentences, to grant pardons, and even to defer punishment – and that his authority is only limited by his own policies. You can read that report here: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/misc/lrb/lrb_reports/prisoners_emergency_release_4_7.pdf

So, please sign up, please spread the word, and please take action on Wednesday at 11 am to STORM THE CAPITOL.

David Liners
WISDOM
414) 736-2099

National Prayer Vigil for All Immigrants

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Date: 
Thursday, June 4, 2020 - 7:00pm
Location: 
Zoom Webinar

National Prayer Vigil for All ImmigrantsFeaturing a Keynote Reflection, Testimonies, Candle Lighting Ceremony and a Call to Action.

Northeast Wisconsin participants include José Lozano, Terry Dawson, Nancy Bourassa, and Fr. Joseph Mattern.

Sponsored by Gamaliel Civil Rights of Immigrants Campaign

Save the Date. Stay tuned for information on how to participate.

Help spread the word. Download and share the attached flier.

Help Casa Esther Support Immigrants and Their Families

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The Federal government’s distribution of funds under the C.A.R.E.S. Act—in the form of stimulus checks, unemployment benefits, and other assistance—provides a financial lifeline for many, but not all, who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

One group of people who need this assistance desperately are not eligible for Federal COVID-19 help. These immigrants live in our communities, contribute to the economy, and pay taxes. These men and women work on dairy farms, in meat-packing plants and cheese factories, in restaurants and cleaning services, in non-profits and small businesses through the Fox Valley.

Casa Esther, a Catholic Worker House in Omro, and an ESTHER member, was established in 2010. It works with a large network of Spanish-speaking people, providing support, education, and financial assistance in the Oshkosh-Omro area. In the last few weeks, using funds contributed to it by concerned Fox Valley residents, it has been able to distribute over $4,500 to people in need and to provide needed information and referrals to other agencies in the Fox Valley.

Contributions in support of this project may be sent directly to Casa Esther at 320 N Webster Ave, Omro 54963. Or make your donation by visiting Casa Esther’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CasaEstherOmro.

Seeding Our Future: MMIW Solutions for Wisconsin

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Date: 
Monday, May 18, 2020 - 3:00pm
Location: 
Zoom Webinar

This series of webinars is dedicated to finding solutions for missing and murdered indigenous women within Wisconsin through indigenous-led grassroots movements and collaboration across systems.

The same program will be offered at 3 different times, limited to 100 participants each:

Date  Registration Link
Monday, May 18, 3:00 pm https://bit.ly/2KRwomm
Friday, May 22, 6:00 pm https://bit.ly/2Sslis3
Saturday, May 23, 2:00 pm https://bit.ly/3f4XlRv

Topics discussed:

  • Strategic plan for MMIW-WI and feedback from tribal communities
  • Indigenous-led data
  • Toolkits for local efforts

Panelists:

  • Chris McKinney, Director of Government Affairs, Wisconsin Department of Justice
  • Pam Johnson, AIAA (American Indians Against Abuse)
  • Shira Phelps, Crime Victim Services, Wisconsin Department of Justice
  • Kristin Welch, MMIW Women's Leadership Cohort - Menīkānaehkem
  • Dr. Joseph Robertson, Mato Ohitika Analytics

Contact kwelch@menomineerebuilders.org with questions or concerns.

“Our Community: Antidote to Crisis” Video Now Available

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Our Community Video Thumbnail (click to play)On Monday, April 27, ESTHER presented an online community event, ”Our Community: Antidote to Crisis,” using the online Zoom platform. Over 130 people registered to participate, a terrific turnout.

If you missed the original program, or if you saw it live and would like to revisit parts or all of the evening, you’ll be glad to know that a video recording of the event is now available.

During the event, local faith and spiritual leaders lifted up the value of our connections to each other and highlighted sources of hope to draw from in navigating these difficult days of COVID-19 and the aftermath. In addition, talented local musicians offered uplifting and encouraging and encouraging songs. All together, the hour-long program offered a great experience in building community, sharing hope, and standing for justice.

RVP Needs You!

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Empower (MyRVP) logoWisconsin’s April 2020 primary shows what a difference the turnout of informed, motivated electors can make in an election. Some reports indicate that “Relational Voting” may have played a significant role in the outcome of that eletion. That’s why ESTHER is looking for leaders to participate in our Relational Voting Program.

What’s Relational Voting? Research has shown that people are more likely to vote if they have a relationship with someone who is encouraging them to do so.

It is easy to participate in the program, which requires only three simple steps:

  1. Download the “Empower (MyRVP)” app to your smart phone (Apple or Android). Then, register yourself to the Empower network (using your phone number or email address) and enter the code word “WISDOM.”
  2. Choose 20 names from the contact list on your phone and add them to the list in your Empower app
  3. Commit to contacting these people from time to time to remind them to vote in upcoming elections.

You are the only person who will ever contact these people about voting-related matters. Talking prompts will be sent to you to remind you to contact those on your list and suggest topics.

If you have questions, please reach out to Bill Van Lopik (billv@esther-foxvalley.org).

By participating in this program, you could possibly earn money for ESTHER as well as yourself. We have funding to pay up to 40 people $50 each if they follow through on this simple program.