ESTHER's Leadership Board is proud to announce that Bill Van Lopik has been named our new Lead Organizer. Bill brings both vision and experience to his work with ESTHER. And, in the words of Fr. Joe Mattern, president of ESTHER, his “passion and commitment to doing justice for the poor promises to make a huge impact in the Fox Valley.”
We invite you to read Bill's own words explaining why this new work excites him and how he plans to approach being ESTHER's lead organizer:
It is with deep humility and honor that I take on the position of Lead Organizer with ESTHER. I have been so impressed with the history, mission and members of ESTHER who are committed to social justice and making our community an accepting place to live for all people. This is a movement that I am excited to be a part of and one that I feel that I can contribute to in a positive and substantive way. I come to this position with many experiences in my life that have prepared to take on this job. I have seen poverty and injustices at their worst in communities in North America, Latin America, Africa and Asia. My family is multi-cultural, and we have dealt personally with challenges related to prejudice and racial profiling. I have been blest with the opportunity of obtaining higher degrees in organizational and community development. I have lived in Latin and Native American communities where I have worked as an ally in addressing justice issues.
As your organizer I want to be a facilitator rather than the leader of the organization. My goal is to empower people in ESTHER to become leaders now and in the future. We need an organization that has the sustainable capacity of tackling the current issues of social injustice as well as issues in the future that we cannot even predict. My goal is to further strengthen a community organization that is effective, inclusive, respected, resourceful and values-driven. One of the qualities that I most admire about ESTHER is its emphasis on being an interfaith organization. This is a quality that is so needed in our present society. My prayer and hope is that we can continue to build an organization that reflects the integrity and sense of fairness and justice that is taught in our inter-faith community. I look forward to meeting many current and future ESTHER supporters. I would love to sit down and talk with as many of you as I can. I can assure you that in spite of my rather formidable size, I am much more of a panda than a gorilla.
Bill Van Lopik