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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 right of the listing
Monday, February 15, 2016 - 1:30pm - 3:00pm ESTHER Communication Committee First Congregational UCC, Appleton Upper Lounge
Tuesday, February 16, 2016 - 6:30pm Transit Task Force Thompson Community Center, 820 West College Avenue, Appleton 54914
Saturday, February 20, 2016 - 12:30pm - 4:30pm ESTHER Leadership Retreat Fox Valley Islamic Society Neenah
Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 4:00pm ESTHER Executive Committee ESTHER Office
Monday, February 29, 2016 - 11:30am ESTHER Finance Committee First Congregational UCC, Appleton Upper Lounge

Moving Beyond Bias: World Interfaith Harmony Gathering February 3

Moving Beyond Bias

We recently celebrated a major Christian holiday with songs, prayers and words: “Peace on Earth.”  This gathering is an opportunity to act and make that message live!

Join, and bring your fellowship, to World Interfaith Harmony Week-Fox Valley, Wednesday, February 3, 2016, 7:00 PM, at St Mark's Lutheran Church, 140 S Green Bay Rd, Neenah. Presenters are Dr. Younis Zaidan, UW-Fox Valley, and Dr. Stephen P. Savides, Senior Pastor, First Congregational United Church of Christ, Appleton.

Thank You for a Successful Challenge!

Bar graph of 2015 challenge resultsTHANK YOU to all those who contributed to the 2015 ESTHER challenge match campaign, which ended on December 31.

When everything was counted, 95 people either made new contributions during 2015 or increased the amount of their support during 2013 as compared to 2014, for a total of $8,446 in response to the $7,000 challenge pool.

What a VICTORY!! Thank you for supporting ESTHER financially so that, with your help, we can all continue building a beloved community together.

Increasing Access to Transit

Increasing Access to Transportation:

What We Can Do A conversation and action planning session

Thursday, February 25 from 1-3pm

Goodwill Community Center (Neenah-Menasha Room)

1800 Appleton Rd, Menasha

What Will be Discussed:

  • Local efforts related to increasing access to walking, biking and transit, how we can share experiences and how we can work together
  • Actions community members and organiza ons can take together to make it easier for residents to get where they need to go
  • Latest information regarding any transportaon-related bills in the WI State Legislature and their impact on residents

RSVP at or

Click here to download a printable flyer.

Please share widely to all that may be interested!  Free and open to the public.

Author, Activist Angela Davis to Keynote Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration

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Dr. Angela DavisFrom the Lawrence University Press Release:

“Social justice icon, scholar and author Dr. Angela Davis will deliver the keynote address at the 25th annual community celebration of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Monday, Jan. 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

2015 MLK Day Logo“The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Breaking the Chains of Injustice.’ The event is free and open to the public. A sign-language interpreter will be present.

“The annual commemoration of Dr. King’s life and legacy is jointly presented by Lawrence University and Celebrate Diversity Fox Cities, with the support of The Post-Crescent, numerous Fox Valley organizations, churches and individuals.”

Read More

Our Challenge Together: Building a Beloved Community

Our Challenge Together:
Building a Beloved Community

ESTHER strives to bridge the many divides that separate us:

  • Madison Action Day 2013We’re working to reduce the overuse of incarceration by promoting treatment alternatives and fixing a broken parole system
  • We’re getting to know the marginalized in our midst and working with them to tell their stories throughout our community
  • We’re helping ordinary people find their voices by teaching them how to organize and build power in their community
  • We’re meeting with elected officials, asking them to keep humanity and fair treatment, not partisan talking points, at the forefront.

In all these ways and more, were bridging religious, racial, ethnic, and cultural divides by lifting up a vision we all can share—of the Beloved Community. We need your help to continue this work. Will you help ESTHER build its financial strength by claiming a $7,000 challenge grant before December 31? (See our progress here.)

Yes, I'll Help!

ESTHER's 11th Annual Banquet - December 6, 2015

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Douglas Walker11th Anniversary Banquet: Building the Beloved Community.

  • Sunday, December 6th - 5:00 PM
  • The Grand Meridian (2621 N. Oneida St.), Appleton
  • Keynote speaker: Douglas Walker, criminal justice reform coordinator, United Methodist Church
  • Emcee: Rev. Jane Voigts, the “irreverent reverend”

Join us for fellowship, a great silent auction, joyous music, a delicious meal, well deserved awards, and an altogether wonderful celebration.

Click here to download the banquet flyer.

Solitary Confinement Cell comes to Fox Valley

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Solitary Confinement in Wisconsin



ESTHER is hosting a life-size replica of a solitary confinement cell in the lobby of the Communications Art Center at UW-Fox Valley (1478 Midway Rd, Menasha) during the week of October 5th-9th. The cell is open at no cost for the public to experience from 10:00am-8:00pm on October 5th-7th (Mon-Wed) and again on October 9th (Friday).

Three community events are planned for the week:

  • Monday, October 5th at 6:30pm - Mental Illness and Incarceration, Community Forum. Community leaders share about the impact that incarceration, as well as solitary confinement has on those with mental illness. Free and open to all.
  • Tuesday, October 6th from 11:30am-1:30pm - Religious Leaders Experience. Open to all religious leaders, lunch included. Please RSVP by phone at 920-843-8083 or email
  • Tuesday, October 6th at 6:30pm - Solitary Confinement and Prison Reform, Community Forum. Experts present the effect that solitary confinment has on individuals and what's being done in Wisconsin. Free and open to all.

To schedule a group or class to experience the cell contact us by phone at 920-843-8083 or email

Print event flyer here

Click here to

Support Drivers Cards for Immigrants in Wisconsin

ESTHER is 100% behind the efforts of Rep. Jocasta Zamarippa (8th Assembly District, D) and cosponsors in the State Legislature to provide Drivers Cards for residents of our state who do not have proof of legal residency. (See Assembly Bill 343 and Senate Bill 258.) Drivers Cards will enable people who need to drive—to get to work, to attend school, for health care, for emergencies—to do so legally. At the same time, our communities will benefit though safer streets and fewer people driving illegally. That's why so many mayors and chiefs of police around the state support this legislation.

Let the games continue!

With help from ESTHER, a group of Latino soccer players is at last able to use public soccer fields and other facilities at Wittman Park in the Town of Menasha without being subjected to harrassment and racial slurs, and without indifference from Town officials. Gustavo Nunez, one of the players who took a lead role in seeking a resolution to the issue, stated, “We want to thank you and all of the people you worked to figure this situation out with us. After many years of playing with the fear of harassment and removal from the fields, we can finally say that we have been playing in peace this last month and since the beginning of your help.” ESTHER is proud to have worked with these courageous players to ensure that their voice was heard. Together we are encouraged by our collective action to make the community, particularly our public parks, more welcoming to all.

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