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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
Saturday, November 17, 2018 - 4:30pm - 6:30pm Justice Connection Saturday: Immigration Justice Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 2600 E Phillip Ln, Appleton
Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 6:30pm ESTHER Transit Task Force First United Methodist, Appleton, Conference Room
Monday, November 26, 2018 - 5:00pm ESTHER Finance Committee First Congregational UCC Church, Appleton/Upper Lounge
Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 4:00pm ESTHER Executive Meeting ESTHER Office, Neenah
Monday, December 3, 2018 - 6:00pm ESTHER Prison Reform Task Force St. Mark's Lutheran, Neenah

Justice Connection Saturday: Immigration Justice

Saturday, November 17, 2018 - 4:30pm - 6:30pm
Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 2600 E Phillip Ln, Appleton

ESTHER is pleased to bring this event, hosted by the Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, to the attention of ESTHER members and friends.

Laureen Anderson-StepanekLaureen Anderson-Stepanek, an immigration lawyer, will present on allyship and substantive steps we can take to support immigrant rights vs. the “feel good” response. We will also hear from the leadership of Unidos Por Un Futuro Mejor, a local immigrant rights and education group. The Fox Cities SURJ Rapid Response team will present on meaningful ways we as bystanders can respond to emergency situations and disrupt detainments. The Fellowship Shared Sanctuary Committee will provide education on the sanctuary movement and ways to be involved in this effort at the Fellowship.

Ms. Anderson-Stepanek, a partner in the Chicago law firm Katsivalis & Anderson Law, LLC, has spent her whole legal career as an immigration lawyer, concentrating, her practice in complex immigration matters since 2002. As Ms. Anderson-Stepanek's practice has grown she has expanded into the areas of family and removal defense, specifically those related to criminal issues and appellate matters, including to the federal court.

This event is part of The Fellowship’s “Justice Connection Saturday” series. Childcare will be available. No sign-up required.

2018 ESTHER Leadership Award: Lisa Hanneman

The 2018 Individual Leadership Award was presented to Lisa at our 15th Annual Banquet on November 4, 2018.

Lisa Hanneman

Lisa’s involvement with ESTHER in 2016 came out of a deep tragedy in her life. Her son Nathan died from a brain tumor. While he was terminally ill and in the criminal justice system and county jail, his terminal cancer diagnosis was not fully acknowledged in spite of Lisa’s petitions. He was improperly given his anti-seizure and chemotherapy medications. He died shortly after being released from jail. Lisa has turned her grief into advocacy. She soon joined our Prison Reform Task Force as a regular participant. It was not long afterward that members of the task force saw the leadership she was bringing to the group. Her desire to change the system that did not do justice to her son was apparent. She would come to meetings with reams of research information and multiple contacts that she made with other victims of a failed system. Her passion for action were motivational to us all. It soon became apparent to the group that this was the type of leader we wanted. She hesitantly accepted this role as an ESTHER leader, and she has excelled in it.

For example, it was through Lisa’s leadership, with support from other members of the task force, that we were able to persuade Outagamie county officials to hire an outside consultant to audit medication procedures at the jail. The audit verified what members of the group and other residents had been saying all along. The result of these efforts is that the sheriff’s department will now be seeking accreditation for the jail from the National Commission on Correctional Health Care. This will help ensure basic health care treatment for those incarcerated in the jail. The Prison Reform Task Force believes that helping those in jail and prison re-enter our community will greatly reduce recidivism.

2018 ESTHER Leadership Award: Dignity & Respect Appleton

The 2018 Community Leadership Award was presented to the Dignity & Respect Campaign Appleton at our 15th annual banquet on November 4, 2018.

Appleton Diversity and Inclusion Director Karen Nelson and Mayor Tim HannaWith the launch of its Dignity & Respect Campaign on January 16, 2018, the City of Appleton became the 101st city in the country, and the first in Wisconsin, to participate in this nationwide program. ESTHER has chosen this campaign to receive its Community Leadership Award for 2018, recognizing both Mayor Tim Hanna and Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator Karen Nelson for their imagination, leadership and sustained support to build a community that celebrates inclusion of all ages, cultures and backgrounds.

Dignity & Respect Campaign Appleton LogoWhile Appleton has had a diversity and inclusion position on staff since 1997, the campaign represents a new level of focus and outreach. Dignity and respect have become watchwords in the management of the city. The campaign has strengthened the city’s connection with existing community organizations focusing on diversity and inclusion, and it is encouraging public participation in a variety of offerings – conversations, films, concerts – that lift up diversity and model inclusion. Most important, the campaign has encouraged a community-wide focus on “making our world a better place for all to live—with all of our differences.”