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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 and related 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, October 19, 2021 - 10:00am - 11:30am
ESTHER Finance Committee Meeting Zoom Meeting
Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
ESTHER Transit Task Force Meeting Zoom Meeting
Thursday, October 21, 2021 - 9:00am
Equity and Racial Justice Committee Zoom Meeting
Thursday, October 21, 2021 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Locked Up On The Outside: Prisons Without Walls St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 140 S. Green Bay Rd, Neenah
Tuesday, October 26, 2021 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
ESTHER Communications Committee Meeting Zoom Meeting

Peace Tree Dedication

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Monday, October 11, 2021 - 1:00pm
Paper Discovery Center, 425 W Water St, Appleton

ESTHER is collaborating with Menominee Tribal Enterprises and area non-profits in celebrating Indigneous People’s Day by dedicating a Peace Tree on October 11 at 1:00 pm. The tree, a white pine from the Menominee forest—symbolizing Great Peace, a new unity together, and changing and growing as a nation—is one of five being planted around the state of Wisconsin. The tree has been planted in the circle of trees next to Ellen Kort Peace Park, adjacent to the Paper Discovery Center on the banks of the Fox River below downtown Appleton. A public ceremony will be held on Monday, October 11, when the tree will be dedicated to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls & 2-Spirits of Wisconsin. with representatives from the Menominee and Oneida Nations, and featuring Appleton Mayor Jake Woodford and Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers.

The Menominee Forest in Northeast Wisconsin has been sustainably managed by the Menominee Tribe for more than 150 years. It is a premier example of forest management in the world. The Peace Tree project is one part of a Menominee-led program that began on Earth Day 2021 to distribute and plant 5,000 native white pine trees in Wisconsin.

ESTHER 2021 Online Auction

Thursday, November 4, 2021 - 8:00am - Sunday, November 7, 2021 - 3:00pm

Artwork • Handcrafts • Gift Baskets • Fine Wines • Catered Meals • Candy & Baked Goods • Gift Certificates • Travel & Recreation • Antiques • Collectibles • Jewelry • Home Decor • Sports Memorabilia • Books • More …

ESTHER 2021 Online Auction

Thursday, November 4 at 8:00 am thru Sunday, November 7 at 3:00 pm
(Preview available starting Monday, November 1, at 8:00 am)

Save the date: ESTHER’s 18th Annual Banquet Rescheduled to February 6, 2022

ESTHER — Building Community, Sharing Hope, Standing for Justice Since 2004


ESTHER 18th Annual Banquet - Rescheduled

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Sunday, February 6, 2022 - 5:00pm - 8:30pm
Liberty Hall, 800 Eisenhower Dr, Kimberly

Rescheduled to
Sunday evening, February 6, 2022

ESTHER’s 18th Annual Banquet

“Bridging Our Differences”

Keynote Speaker: Pardeep Kaleka, Executive Director, Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee and the Zeidler Group. Founder of Serve 2 Unite. Co-author (with Arno Michaelis) of The Gift of Our Wounds.

A native of Punjab, India, Kaleka grew up in Milwaukee and received his B.A. at Marquette University, and M.S. at Alverno College.  He is a former police officer and educator in the inner city of Milwaukee. As a clinician, he uses a trauma-informed approach to treat survivors and perpetrators of assault, abuse, and acts of violence.

After evaluating the current state of the pandemic and its projected trajectory, we have made the decision to reschedule our 18th Annual Banquet from its original date to February 6, 2022. The event venue remains Liberty Hall in Kimberly.

Locked Up On The Outside: Prisons Without Walls

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Thursday, October 21, 2021 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm
St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 140 S. Green Bay Rd, Neenah

The ESTHER Prison Reform Task Force along with EXPO will be holding this important listening session and crucial conversation with a representative of the Wisconsin Division of Community Corrections (DCC), elected officials and YOU.

Are you, or do you know someone who is or has been, on probation or parole? Do you live in fear, have anxiety that rules or attitudes could take you back to prison? Do you have thoughts on how re-entry could be improved to make people more successful on Parole or Extended Supervision?

Then please join EXPO and ESTHER at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Neenah for this important conversation regarding community corrections.


Five-Week Introduction to Organizing Training

WISDOM is beginning a new five-week Intro to Organizing training, to be held on five consecutive Wednesday evenings (October 20 and 27, and November 3, 10 and 17), from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. To sign up, please register here:

WISDOM 5-Week Training, Oct 20 to Nov 17

There is no cost for the training, which is highly interactive. It is appropriate for people who are new to WISDOM affiliates (such as ESTHER), and to others who are curious about the WISDOM network and what it does. Some “veteran” leaders within the network have also found these trainings to be helpful – a reminder of some of the basics of our brand of community organizing.

Student Bus Ridership in Oshkosh Exceeds All Expectations

After seven years of advocating, raising money and attending City Council meetings, our Oshkosh ESTHER Task Force successfully petitioned to allow all Oshkosh students to ride the bus for free, effective July 2020. During that first month of implementation, a total of six students rode the city bus. We were understandably concerned that, even if bus rides were free for students, they might not actually take advantage of the benefit.

We need not have worried! According to recent ridership data from Go Transit, there were 2,587 student riders in July of 2021. That is a whopping 47,516 percent incease from the previous year. For 2021 to date, there have been 38,037 student riders, as compared to 103 for the same period in 2020.

This program has proved to be a phenomenal success, exceeding all expectations. We are grateful to the Oshkosh Common Council and the Oshkosh Area School District for their efforts in making this happen.

ESTHER-Native Justice Coalition Partnership

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Native Justice Coalition LogoThe Native Justice Coalition (NJC) is an Anishanaabe-led organization that was founded in 2016. Based in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, this organization was created for Indigenous people, to provide healing and resources. One of the ways they bring healing to their communities is through story telling. Story-telling brings awareness to Native communities and puts focus on Native leaders. Too often are Native voices left out of conversations on racial justice: the NJC is working to change this.

ESTHER has recently entered into partnership with the NJC, which will further elevate Native voices. By partnering with this organization, ESTHER has the opportunity to learn from those on the frontlines of the racial, gender and environmental justice movements.

The NJC had an Anishanaabe Racial Justice Conference coming up from 9/30-10/3. Due to increasing COVID cases in their local community, this conference has been postponed to May 2022. 

For more information on the conference, visit:

An Interview with K of Taperz Barber Shop

By Jill Smith

Please meet Cainan Davenport, otherwise known as K the Barber. He and his friend Michael Linwood own Taperz, a family-oriented barber shop located almost on the corner of College Avenue and Richmond Street in Appleton. K had some free time, which is rare fpr such a busy man, and gave me a few minutes so I could ask him about his thriving business and about how he uses his business to serve our community.

How long have you and your friend, Wood, owned Taperz barbershop? What kind of services do you offer there?

We’ve been in business for a little over three years. Basically, we cut all races, ethnicity, and genders. We have created a comfortable “old school” environment where our customers can come to talk, laugh and get a great haircut.

We are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10-6. Our busiest time of day is every day, all day. Every time we are in the shop, we are pretty much busy.

You not only run a successful business but you use your space to invite neighbors to the shop on Sunday afternoons to discuss issues and just be together. Can you talk a little bit more about that?

The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote

By Penny Robinson

Her Voice Her Vote Our VictoryOn the evening of Thursday, August 25, The League of Women Voters of Appleton hosted keynote speaker Elaine Weiss, author of the highly acclaimed narrative history The Woman’s hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote.

An accomplished storyteller, Ms. Weiss riveted the well-informed audience with details and photos, allowing them to feel that they almost were present. For three generations the suffragettes persisted, continuing to organize even after repeated failures and, for many years, lacking even the telephone (invented in 1876).

The campaign began with the 1848 Seneca Falls convention, at which Frederick Douglass was the only man to express support. Through a world pandemic, a civil and world war, numerous failed state campaigns, court battles and petitions to Congress, it culminated in marches and protests (which resulted in some arrests, imprisonment, and force-feeding), that led to the Nineteenth Amendment: