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“I Am Not Your Negro” - Public Showing

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Thursday, May 10, 2018 (All day)
Emmanuel United Methodist Church, 740 E College Ave, Appleton

Time of showing is still being determined. Date and location are firm.

A Fox Valley Conversation on Investing in Children

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Thursday, March 1, 2018 - 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Elisha D. Smith Public Library, 440 1st St, Menasha

The Raising of America is a documentary series and public engagement campaign that explores how a strong start for all our kids can lead to a healthier, safer, better educated, and more prosperous and equitable America.

Please Join Us: March 1, 6:30 pm
Menasha Public Library, Company E Room

We'll be viewing Episode 3: “Are We Crazy About Our Kids?” (32 min.) Investing in high-quality early care and education for children pays for itself in many ways and many times over. We can either invest early for success or pay more for failure later. So, what is holding us back?

The film will be followed by presentation of data on Fox Valley children, discussion and information on the campaign to End Child Poverty in Wisconsin.


Conference: "Invigorating Democracy and Public Work"

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Saturday, February 24, 2018 - 9:00am - 3:00pm
Saint Norbert College (Bemis International Center - 299 3rd St), De Pere, Wisconsin

norman miller center logoThe notion of “public work” derives from the community organizing philosophy of Harry Boyte, founder of Public Achievement and Senior Scholar in Public Work Philosophy at the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship at Augsburg College. The conference will feature Harry Boyte, as well as Micheline Ishay (University of Denver), Harvey Kaye (UW-Green Bay), Alison Staudinger (UW-Green Bay) and more. Additional info at the event page on Facebook.

Lunch and coffee breaks are included. This event is free and open to the public. Please register in advance to ensure adequate seating and sufficient lunches for participants.

Recycling Event

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Saturday, May 19, 2018 - 8:00am - 12:00pm
First Congregational U.C.C., 724 E South River St, Appleton

Recycling Symbol with images of recyclable objectsSave the date - May 19.
Save your electronics and other items for recycling.

Event will be held rain or shine in the west parking lot of the church. Electronics, appliances, “anything with a cord,” plus metal articles of all sorts (snow blowers, lawnmowers, exercise equipment, filing & storage cabinets, shelving, desk chairs, etc.). Most items free to recycle. Charge for TVs and CRT monitors.

The Power of Grace: Play and Discussion

Saturday, January 27, 2018 - 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 2600 E Phillip Ln, Appleton

Power of Grace

A group of women formerly incarcerated in Illinois will share their thoughts and feelings about being incarcerated when a play called “The Power of Grace” is presented by ESTHER-Fox Valley and Fox Cities EXPO (Ex-Prisoners Organizing). The presentation is supported by a Bright Idea Fund grant from the Community Foundation and will be follow by a panel discussion.

The short theatrical piece was created from poetry written by the women. The script communicates the story of incarcerated women to the general public in order to break down stereotypes and encourage awareness regarding the U.S. criminal justice system. Presented from the prisoner’s point of view, the play is a window into the personal experience of incarceration, and represents a ritual of self-liberation.

For the soul of a nation, NO deportation

Sunday, January 28, 2018 - 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Fox Valley UU Fellowship, 2600 E. Phillip Lane, Appleton

For the soul of a nation,
NO deportation

Is tearing families apart and turning away talented individuals the solution to our broken immigration system? What are we going to miss if we are not ALL here?

Join us for an interfaith community event as we come together to hear the stories of DACA recipients, discuss the future of the program, and learn now to advocate for the passage of a clean DREAM ACT. Stand in solidarity with our dreamers, friends, and neighbors.

Presented by ESTHER, Unidos Por Un Futuro Mejor, and Winnebago Worship Group Religious Society of Friends.


World Interfaith Harmony Week Celebration

Thursday, February 8, 2018 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm
St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 140 South Green Bay Road, Neenah

Share an evening of fellowship among the Fox Valley's diverse faith communities. We will practice listening with humility and compassion, challenging the biases that limit us, and deepening our understanding of shared humanity.

Fox Valley faith and fellowship communities have participated in this global celebration since its first observance in 2011. The event is free, planned locally, and open to all.

Youth groups welcome!
Questions? Call 920-426-2920

Help spread the word - download and share the poster attached below!


27th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

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Monday, January 15, 2018 - 6:30pm - 7:45pm
Lawrence University Memorial Chapel, Appleton

Aly Wane speaking at a rally“Those Who Have Been Left Out”

The 2018 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Celebration is sponsored by Celebrate Diversity Fox Cities, African Heritage, Inc. and the Lawrence University Diversity Center. The event is free, and the public is invited to attend. The keynote speaker for this year's event will be Aly Wane, s noted speaker, activist, and organizer originally from Senegal. Mr. Wane has worked with various human rights groups including the Syracuse Peace Council, American Friends Service Committee, and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration.

See also the Facebook event for this celebration.

Equity, the Environment, and the Future of Transportation

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Fox Valley Technical College, Room A158

cars and bikes sharing the roadJoin us to hear elected officials, experts, and local activists discussing issues and opportunities for making transportation more equitable, accessible, and greener… in the Fox Valley and around the state.


Professor Laura Hartman, UW-Oshkosh Environmental Studies


Mayor Tim Hanna, City of Appleton
Alderman Joe Martin, Appleton Common Council
Connie Kanitz, ESTHER Transportation Task Force
Kim Biedermann, East Central WI Regional Planning Commission

  • How would you get to work, school, the doctor, or the store in Wisconsin if you couldn’t drive or afford a car?
  • Did you know that transportation alone accounts for almost one-third of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions?
  • New technology, aging seniors, and Millennials’ preferences are radically changing the future of transportation... is the Fox Valley ready?

Wednesday, November 29, 4 - 5:30 pm
Fox Valley Technical College, Room A158
1825 N Bluemound Dr, Appleton

FVTC is accessible by Valley Transit bus route 12. If you drive, park in the North Lot and use entrance 15. From there, room A158 is down the hall on the right side.

This event is hosted by ESTHER and WISPIRG (Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group)

2017 Banquet a Rousing Success

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2017 Banquet Crowd - image by Mark RiceOver 225 people—a full house—gathered at Liberty Hall last Sunday evening for ESTHER’s 13th annual banquet. The spirit in the room was amazing. ESTHER recognized Kris Clouthier for her exceptional, sustained efforts in sharing Latino/a stories through ESTHER’s Latino simulation, Walk in Our Shoes, as well as the “Voices of Hope” readers theatre. Bob Pedersen, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries North Central Wisconsin, was honored for his creative, energetic, and people-focused leadership of this truly transformative organization in the Fox Valley.

Keynote speaker Glenn E. Martin shared from the heart and the head in challenging America's addiction to dehumanizing punishment, not only in prisons but throughout our culture: “70 million people in the United States have a criminal record. You can't criminalize 70 million people unless you dehumanize them first.”

It was great to be joined by many who were attending an ESTHER banquet for the first time. We especially enjoyed being joined by members of ExPO (Ex‑Prisoners Organizing) from the Fox Valley and throughout the state, as well as representatives from JOSHUA, RUTH, WISDOM and others.

If you were there, you know what a great evening it was. If you missed it this year, do plan to join us in 2018!

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