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

Celebrating ESTHER’s

20th Anniversary

Anniversary events: 7/27 Classical Guitar Concert • 8/22 Summer Gathering & Cookout
• 10/5 Walk with NAMI • 10/8 Justice in Crisis Movie & Panel • 11/16 Banquet

Learn more at 20 years of ESTHER

Upcoming Events

Please join us for any of these upcoming ESTHER and related events!

  • To learn more about a particular event, click on its title
  • To see the complete ESTHER calendar in a new tab, click here
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
ESTHER Executive Committee Zoom Meeting
Thursday, July 25, 2024 - 2:00pm - 4:30pm
Oshkosh ESTHER Task Force Meeting Zoom and Various Locations in Oshkosh
Saturday, July 27, 2024 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Classical Guitar Concert featuring Ivan Resendiz Fox Valley UU Fellowship, 2600 E Phillip Ln, Appleton
Monday, August 5, 2024 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
ESTHER Transformational Justice Task Force St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 140 South Green Bay Road, Neenah
Tuesday, August 6, 2024 - 4:30pm - 6:00pm
Oshkosh ESTHER Task Force Meeting Zoom and Various Locations in Oshkosh

Marking 20 Years of Advocacy for Social Justice

Posted in

This year, ESTHER is celebrating 20 years of advocacy for social justice in the Fox Valley. It has been an exciting and inspiring journey. ESTHER was formed by people who felt that their religious faith needed to be expressed in action to bring our world closer to the just society that all of our faiths envision. ESTHER stands for Empowerment, Solidarity, Truth, Hope, Equity, & Reform, and they are ideals that have inspired us for two decades.

In celebration of our 20th anniversary, we have planned a number of events. We hope that you will attend as many of them as possible. For info, go to

Classical Guitar Concert featuring Ivan Resendiz

Saturday, July 27, 2024 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Fox Valley UU Fellowship, 2600 E Phillip Ln, Appleton

Join us for this special event in celebration of ESTHER’s 20th anniversary,
hosted by the Immigration Task Force

Register at

Originally from Mexico City, Ivan Resendiz began his study of classical guitar at age 16 at La Escuela Superior de Musica del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico with teacher Alejandro Mendez. Mr. Resendiz has participated in numerous national and International guitar competitions alike, receiving top prizes in more than 13 competitions including South Carolina Guitar Competition and Boston Guitar Fest, to name a few. Ivan has performed in Mexico, France, Spain, Europe and the U.S. in festivals including Musica en Compostela in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and Festival del Museo Nacional del Virreinato in Mexico. In 2011, Resendiz founded the first Latin American Guitar Festival in Chicago. The festival offers concerts, workshops and conferences to the Latin American Community in Chicago and continues to achieve its goal of bringing classical music to the immigrant community of Chicago.

No charge. Suggested donation: $10.00. Dessert reception to follow.

Register at

Resendiz is the son-in-law of ESTHER leader Connie Raether. For a glimpse of Resendiz’s repertoire and talent, visit this YouTube link.

Wisconsin Primary Election

Tuesday, August 13, 2024 (All day)

Issues and candidates before the Wisconsin electorate in August 2024 include:

  • 2024 primary election for contested US and Wisconsin offices and seats
  • Referendums on Constitutional Amendments

    Note: July 10 at 7:00 - 8:30 pm
    The League of Women Voters presents a webinar about the proposed Constitutional Amendments on the August 13 ballot.  
    Register here

    These amendments would put Wisconsin’s share of federal funds, including the distribution of emergency funds, at risk. Join the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin for this virtual program to learn why you should vote “no” to both of these Constitutional Amendments. These constitutional amendments are confusing and harmful. Learn what’s at stake.

  • Find your polling place:
  • Get information on statewide issues
    (Wisconsin League of Women Voters)

Environmental Justice Task Force Hosts a Cookout

Thursday, August 22, 2024 - 4:30pm - 8:30pm
Telulah Park Pavilion, 1300 E. Newberry, Appleton

Here's another event celebrating ESTHER's 20th Anniversary

All are invited to join us in a meal and social gathering.

Includes entertainment by Karma's Mailbox Band, and more . . .

Register here

ESTHER 20th Anniversary Banquet: Save the Date

Posted in
Saturday, November 16, 2024 - 5:00pm
Waverly Beach Banquet Hall, N8770 Fire Lane 1, Menasha

Save the Date

Help ESTHER celebrate 20 years of
Justice, Hope and Action
In the Fox Valley Region

Keynote speaker: Keith Findley, professor emeritus, UW Law School, and Co-founder, The Innocence Project

ESTHER gratefully acknowledges 20th anniversary banquet sponsorship provided by Community First Credit Union.

Rally for Democracy

Sunday, July 14, 2024 - 2:00pm - 6:00pm
Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts, 2419 E Kenwood Blvd, Milwaukee

Don’t miss Rally for Democracy, a part of MICAH’s “We All Belong” campaign! Hear local and national speakers! Help achieve a more inclusive and democratic society.

This rally will take place on Sunday, July 14th, at the Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts at 2419 E. Kenwood Blvd. Milwaukee, WI 53211. Doors open at 1:00; event runs from 2:00-6:00. National and local speakers. Livestream available for those who cannot attend in person.

Tickets: General Admission tickets (first-come, first-served) are $5. Purchase tickets here in advance

More community support needed for people who have no shelter. June 6, 2024 ESTHER Press Conference

Here is June 7th story from Civic Media about the press conference  

Advocacy groups say Oshkosh homeless told to “Move Along.”

by Lisa M. Hale from Civic Media

OSHKOSH, WI – (WISS) – Shelters are full. Housing is unaffordable. And the Oshkosh homeless do not have a safe place to sleep. Law enforcement ask the community to “Move along,” prompting action from social justice groups, churches, and community advocates.

First Presbyterian Church in Oshkosh recently offered a safe space for the homeless, said Pastor Deb Swets.  However, the City of Oshkosh told the church it was violating a zoning code by operating an “unauthorized campground.” 

“First Presbyterian Church is more than willing to be fined to do what is right in providing temporary refuge for people with nowhere else to go,” said Swets during a press conference. “We believe that every person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect no matter their circumstances. And we believe that we are called to help care, especially for the most vulnerable people in our community.”

Jennifer Verderami, a housing advocate with social justice organization ESTHER said there has been an increased police presence outside the Orrin King building on Algoma in Oshkosh, used for years as a safe space for Winnebago County’s homeless. She said law enforcement demands the unhoused to “move along.”  The Orrin King building has grates that have provided a safe, dry, warm area for the unhoused to sleep until recently.   

   Click below on "read more" to see the rest of the news story.

The Health of Lake Winnebago

Tuesday, June 25, 2024 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Zoom meeting

 ESTHER Environmental Justice Task Force is hosting a public meeting via Zoom
June 25 2024, 7:00pm

See zoom link at end of story. . .

Featured speaker: Dr. Bart T. De Stasio Professor of Biological Studies at Lawrence University 

The Health of Lake Winnebago

What do 3.4% of Wisconsin residents have in common?
We all get our drinking water from Lake Winnebago.

So how healthy is Lake Winnebago?
For the answer to this and other questions about Lake Winnebago,
join ESTHER’s Environmental Justice Taskforce Zoom meeting on June 25

 Dr. De Stasio is an expert on fresh-water environments. After his presentation there will be time for your questions.
Join us on from your den, office or living room. Remember “Water is Life”

Zoom link:    

The Black Experience: Family

Saturday, June 1, 2024 - 12:00pm - 3:00pm
116 E Wisconsin Ave, Appleton

The Black Experience: Family

Save the Date!

NOTE THE NEW LOCATION - this event has been moved to Appleton

Learn about some of the strong traditions and characteristics of some Black families. Although no one family is identical to any other, there are similarities.

Free Admission • Donations Accepted