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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
Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - 4:30pm - 6:00pm
ESTHER Executive Committee Meeting Zoom Meeting
Tuesday, September 28, 2021 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm
ESTHER Environmental Justice Task Force Zoom Meeting
Monday, October 4, 2021 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
ESTHER Prison Reform Task Force St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 140 South Green Bay Road, Neenah
Tuesday, October 5, 2021 - 4:30pm - 6:00pm
Oshkosh ESTHER Task Force Meeting Zoom Meeting
Wednesday, October 6, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
ESTHER Immigration Task Force Zoom Meeting

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 18th Annual Banquet - Rescheduled

Posted in
Date: 
Sunday, February 6, 2022 - 5:00pm - 8:30pm
Location: 
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.

Peace Tree Dedication

Posted in
Date: 
Monday, October 11, 2021 - 1:00pm
Location: 
Paper Discovery Center, 425 E Water St, Appleton

ESTHER is collaborating with Menominee Tribal Enterprises and other area governments and 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 will be planted adjacent to the Paper Discovery Center on the banks of the Fox River below downtown Appleton. A public ceremony will be held on October 11, when the tree will be dedicated to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women of Wisconsin.

The Menominee Forest in northeast Wisconsin has been sustainably managed by the Menominee Tribe for more than 150 years and 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-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 has an Anishanaabe Racial Justice Conference coming up from 9/30-10/3. This conference will cover a variety of topics such as boarding schools, generational trauma, and traditional culture. This conference will be a great opportunity to learn from Anishinaabe leaders and to continue the work on centering Native voices.

For more information on the conference, visit: https://www.nativejustice.org/conference

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:

[Postponed] How to Be an Informed Voter

Posted in
Date: 
Monday, August 23, 2021 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: 
Prairie Hill Park, 2901 N Abendroth St, Appleton

This event has been postponed and will be offered at a later date yet to be determined.

ESTHER & WISDOM present:

School of Democracy:

Be an Informed Voter

Want to know how your local government and your vote affect your everyday life? Then this workshop is for you!

It’s an interactive, in-person learning opportunity sponsored by ESTHER and WISDOM. Explore engaging more deeply in politics with the WISDOM Integrated Voter Engagement Team.

  • Stay informed on issues affecting you
  • Learn how to connect with your elected officials
  • Vote your values

Monday, August 23, 2021
Prairie Hill Park Shelter, 2901 N Abendroth St, Appleton

Register Now

Healing the Land

On Friday, July 16, I along with other ESTHER members went to Marinette in support of the Coalition to Save the Menominee River. This event was inspiring and allowed me to hear the stories of those who are working diligently to protect the river.

The extractive industry is a threat to wildlife, the surrounding environment, and Native communities. The extractive industry brings violence to Native communities and exacerbates the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women. Being at this event, I heard from people who are working specifically on this issue and how I can get more involved. This is my biggest passion, and it felt reaffirming hearing from people who care just as much as I do.

If we are looking for ways to better protect the environment, we need to listen to Indigenous communities such as the Menominee. Indigenous communities have been protecting and healing the land for many years. Their relationship with the land provides the best template for how we can move forward and heal the land and ourselves.

It was such an honor to witness a water blessing done by five generations of Menominee women. They mentioned how in their community, women are the water protectors. Women have a sacred connection with the water as the womb holds life-giving water. That relationship with the water is so beautiful and is just one of the many reasons why the Menominee River needs to be protected.

Kayla Nessmann

ESTHER Communications Coordinator

June 12 MMIWG2S Billboards for Change Rally Video

MMIWG2S Billboard Rally Video Now Available

On morning of June 12, ESTHER, in collaboration with the Native Justice Coalition and Waking Women Healing Institute, sponsored a rally at the Urban Evolutions store on West College Avenue in Appleton. The purposes of the rally were 1) to draw attention to the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women, girls and two-spirits in Wisconsin and the nation, and 2) to dedicate a new billboard placed nearby. About fifty people attended, and the event drew media attention from WBAY TV in Green Bay and Appleton radio.

The rally was streamed live on Facebook. If you did not attend, or would like to experience the program again, click on the image to watch the recorded video on Facebook. (This video is publicly visible; you do not need a Facebook account to watch it. The program starts about 10 minutes in, so you may want to fast-forward to that point.)