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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
Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - 9:00am - 10:30am
Finance Committee First Congregational UCC, 724 E South River St, Appleton - Pathways Room
Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - 6:30pm
ESTHER Transit Task Force First United Methodist Church, 325 East Franklin Street, Appleton - Conference Room on 2nd Floor
Friday, January 24, 2020 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Weekly Climate Strike - Fox Cities Houdini Plaza, 111 W College Ave, Appleton
Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - 7:00pm
ESTHER Environmental Justice Task Force First Congregational UCC, 724 South River Drive, Appleton Downstairs River Room
Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - 11:30am - 2:00pm
Smart Justice Lobby Day Wisconsin State Capitol, 2 E Main St, Madison

2019 Challenge Campaign a Great Success - Thank You!

Note: This story has been revised to correct an error in the amount received in response to the challenge.

Challenge Succeeds--Thank You!Wow! THANK YOU to all those who contributed to the 2019 ESTHER challenge match campaign, which ended on December 31.

When everything was counted, during the last quarter of 2019, 60 people either made new contributions or increased their support 2019 ESTHER Challenge results bar graph: Goal $5,000; Received: $7,028during 2019 over 2018, for a total of $7,028—40 percent more than the goal!—in response to the $5,000 challenge pool!

We are so grateful for such an amazing response to this campaign during these challenging times. Your support helps ensure we can have even greater impact as we work to share hope, build community, and stand for justice.

Weekly Climate Strike - Fox Cities

Friday, January 10, 2020 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Friday, January 17, 2020 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Friday, January 24, 2020 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Friday, January 31, 2020 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Friday, February 7, 2020 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Friday, February 14, 2020 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Friday, February 21, 2020 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Friday, February 28, 2020 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Friday, March 6, 2020 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Friday, March 13, 2020 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Friday, March 20, 2020 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Friday, March 27, 2020 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Friday, April 3, 2020 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Friday, April 10, 2020 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Friday, April 17, 2020 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Houdini Plaza, 111 W College Ave, Appleton

Strike With Us

Sponsored by Youth Climate Activists Fox Valley

Fridays through April 17 at Houdini Plaza in Appleton:

“We are climate striking every Friday to raise awareness about the climate crisis. By doing this we are putting pressure on our state government and Appleton City Hall to take action. We demonstrate at Houdini Plaza from 5-7pm. Everyone is welcome, everyone is needed.”

Click here to visit event page on Facebook

2nd Annual Martin Luther King ‘I Have a Dream’ Diversity Awards

Posted in
Friday, January 17, 2020 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Grace Lutheran Church, 901 N Mason St, Appleton

Header images from MLK Leadership Awards Poster

2nd Annual Martin Luther King
‘I Have a Dream’ Diversity

Dr. Martin Luther King Celebration Fox Cities

Posted in
Monday, January 20, 2020 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Lawrence Memorial Chapel, 510 E College Ave, Appleton

Fox Cities 29th Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. CelebrationPlan to Attend the Fox Cities’s 29th celebration of Dr. King!

Special highlights:

  • Dr. Simon Balto, Assistant Professor of History and African American Studies at The University of Iowa will provide the keynote, “Restoring the Radical King.”
  • Worldwide noted activist, theologian, author, documentary filmmaker, and musician, Reverend Osagyefo Sekou, will provide musical inspiration for the evening through a generous donation from Cory Chisel and The Refuge in Appleton.
  • Community awards and essay contest finalists
  • Reception to follow

Free and open to the public. Sign-language interpreter provided.

Sponsored by African Heritage, Inc., and Lawrence University.

Smart Justice Lobby Day

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - 11:30am - 2:00pm
Wisconsin State Capitol, 2 E Main St, Madison

Smart Justice Lobby Day January 29, 2020

Join the ACLU of Wisconsin’s Smart Justice Campaign, WISDOM, EXPO, ESTHER and others at the State Capitol on January 29 to call for change in our criminal justice system.

I Thought [Catholics] Couldn’t Join ESTHER

The November 2019 issue of The Compass, the official newspaper for the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, contains an article entitled, “I Thought We Couldn’t Join ESTHER.” It was written by Peter Weiss, program manger for the Diocesan Office of Living Justice.

As Weiss notes, the view expressed in the article’s title is incorrect:

So to summarize, Bishop Ricken did not say it was wrong for individual Catholics to belong to groups like ESTHER and JOSHUA [ESTHER’s sister organization in Green Bay]. Rather, he recognized the good work these organizations do in our communities and left the decision [about membership or support] up to the prudential judgment of the individual.

“The Refugees,” by Ann Weems

In the United States today, the life and teachings of Jesus are often cited as example, guidance, and justification for government policy and actions. Sometimes overlooked, however, are Jesus’ humble, even desperate, beginnings. At a time when treatment of refugees is a highly charged aspect of our national conversation, we believe there is value in remembering that during his infancy, Jesus and his parents were refugees for a time, driven out of their homeland by the threat of violence from its government. In the spirit of Matthew 25:35, we invite you to consider this poem by Ann Weems:

From Kneeling in Bethlehem: Poetry for Advent and Christmas. © 1985, 1987 Ann Weems. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Justice for Missing or Murdered Tribal Women and Girls

Posted in

Tribal members protesting missing and murdered indigenous womenAssembly Bill 548 and Senate Bill 493*, which would create a task force on missing and murdered tribal women and girls, were introduced into the Wisconsin legislature on October 14 and referred to Assembly and Senate committees for further consideration. This is an important first step!

Menikanaehkem logo Why These Bills are Important:

Homicide is the third leading cause of death for Indigenous Women. More than half of Native American women report having been raped or assaulted. The media have largely been silent or, worse, blamed the victims. It is time to shine a light on this atrocity, and come together to work to end it.

Next step: Legislative hearings!

Join the women of Menīkānaehkem in contacting these committee chairs and asking them to hold hearings on these bills:

  • Rep. Rob Swearingen, Chair, Assembly Committee on State Affairs
    (608) 366-7141 or (888) 534-0034 Fax: (608) 266-3634 [⇐ click to send email]
    Room 123 West
    State Capitol
    PO Box 8953
    Madison, WI  53708
  • Sen. Duey Strobel, Chair, Senate Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection
    (608) 266-7513 Fax: (608) 282-3560 [⇐ click to send email]
    Room 18 South
    State Capitol
    PO Box 7882
    Madison, WI  53707 

Read more about the bill and the legislators behind it in this Journal-Sentinel article.

Read more about Menīkānaehkem here.

Help spread the word: Download and share the attached flyer.


* These bills were drafted by Renee Gralewicz, professor of anthropology and Native American Studies at UW-Fox Valley and a peacemaker of the Brothertown Indian Nation of Fond du Lac; and Lisa Hurst, Native Peoples Outreach Advocate at Reach Counseling in Oshkosh, and a member of the Oneida Nation.

Become a Monthly Sustainer: Our Work Takes Time …

Bringing justice and equi­ty to our society will not happen overnight, or even in a year or two.

We have to main­tain our effort over the long haul, and that requires a de­pen­dable fi­nan­cial base. Monthly Sustain­ers pro­vide fund­ing we can count on for the long run … through automatic month­ly con­tri­bu­tions (of $10 or more) from their check­ing or savings account.

We invite you to become a Monthly Sustainer of ESTHER. Just download this form, fill it out, and mail it to ESTHER, PO Box 784, Neenah, WI 54957.

Thank you!