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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 in a new tab, click here
Tuesday, April 23, 2024 - 3:00pm - 4:30pm
ESTHER Communications Committee Meeting Zoom Meeting
Tuesday, April 23, 2024 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm
ESTHER Environmental Justice Task Force Meeting Zoom meeting
Wednesday, April 24, 2024 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
ESTHER Executive Committee Zoom Meeting
Monday, May 6, 2024 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
ESTHER Transformational Justice Task Force St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 140 South Green Bay Road, Neenah
Tuesday, May 7, 2024 - 6:00am
May 7: Viewing and Discussion of the Film "Invisible Class" First Congregational United Church of Christ, 724 E. South River Rd. Appleton

Northeast Wisconsin Housing Policy Institute

Friday, April 12, 2024 - 2:00pm - 6:00pm
UWO Fox Cities Campus, Midway Road, Menasha

A regional housing policy training for people who have experienced housing challenges (including eviction, unaffordable housing and homelessness) in Northeast Wisconsin. Learn how local and state decisions have caused how we experience housing and what we can do to advocate for change. Connect with other advocates and know that you’re not alone.

Participants are asked to attend both days of this two-day event.

Scan QR code or click on image below to register.

Registration deadline: April 1, 2024

Contact: Lynnsey Erickson (920) 252-5928

Help spread the word! Download and share the attached flier.

The Forgiveness Project Exhibit

Posted in
Wednesday, April 3, 2024 - 10:00am - 8:00pm
Thursday, April 4, 2024 - 10:00am - 8:00pm
Friday, April 5, 2024 - 10:00am - 8:00pm
Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 2600 Philip Lane, Appleton WI

The exhibit is also open on Sunday, April 7 from 12:30-4:30 pm and
Monday, April 8 from 10:00-3:30 pm

Come view this international exhibit which features 18 personal stories of challenges in forgiveness. 

At the heart of The Forgiveness Project is an understanding that restorative narratives have the power to transform lives; not only supporting people to deal with issues in their own lives, but also building a climate of resilience, hope and empathy.

Here are quotes from three of the stories:

  • “In that instant, I realized how much negative energy it takes to hold hate inside.”   Zak Ebrahim
  • “I'm beginning to realize that no matter which side of the conflict you're on, had we all lived each other’s lives, we could all have done what the other did.”  Jo Berry, daughter of a bombing victim
  • “Through forgiveness, I've learned that love doesn't die.”  Kia Scherr

PLEASE NOTE the exhibit is NOT available for viewing on Saturday, April 6, due to a prior commitment at the Fellowship. 

This exhibit is sponsored by: The Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, ESTHER, and Charter for Compassion.  See more description, photos, and a donation option to Forgiveness Project at

Housing Conversations to Inspire Change: Fox Valley Speaks

You are Invited!

Fox Valley Speaks: Housing Conversations to Inspire Change

Share, listen, and connect in small groups about diverse experiences and unique perspectives around homelessness in our community.

In partnership with Common Ground, Celebrate Diversity Fox Cities, and the City of Appleton

5 available dates from April 24 thru June 13 • 2 hours • ages 14+ • free to attend

Questions? Email

Help spread the word! Download and share the attached flier.

Rising Together: Amplify Love!

Saturday, March 23, 2024 - 9:00am - 1:00pm
Fox Valley UU Fellowship, 2600 E Phillip Ln, Appleton

Rising Together: Amplify Love!

Rising Together flierDo you want to become more connected to your community? Do you wish you could share your values with more clarity and impact? Do you want to create local impact to amplify the power of love in your community? Then join us for Rising Together: Amplify Love!

Saturday, March 23, 2024 - 9 am to 1 pm
Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
2600 E Phillip Lane,
Appleton, WI 54915

Breakout sessions include:

  • Getting Out of the Echo Chamber
  • Actually Working Across Difference: Strategies for Genuine Engagement
  • Entering the Fray of State Legislative Advocacy 
  • Local Engagement: How Working with County, City, and Town Entities Can Create Change
  • Telling Love's Story: Crafting Powerful Messages for Change

The event is free, open to the public (but  please register to help us plan!), and includes light breakfast, snacks, lunch, and childcare.

Click Here to register now!

How I Lost BadgerCare and What Happened Next

Testimony given by Joyce Frohn at the Poor People’s Campaign March in Madison, WI, on March 2, 2024. Thank you, Joyce, for sharing your testimony with ESTHER in this blog post.

2024 Poor People’s March Wisconsin

In December of 2023, I knew that I might be losing BadgerCare.

I should first explain why I was on BadgerCare. My husband is on disability. He has an auto-immune disease that makes him not only unable to work but also in pain almost all the time. I am also a caregiver for my elderly parents who are in senior living and can’t move to assisted living until financial matters beyond my control are finished. Since I need to make sure they take their pills twice a day, I can’t take most jobs. I’m trying to make a living as a freelance writer, but that income is neither sufficient nor predictable.

During the pandemic, both my college student daughter and I could stay on BadgerCare. But as the post-pandemic “unwinding” began we were both worried. What pushed me over the limit was one simple thing: my husband’s disability check was increased.

That increase—$200 a month—wasn’t enough to cover the house taxes that went up, the fuel bill that went up or even the grocery bill that went up. But it was enough to kick me off BadgerCare.

2024 Bread for the World Offering of Letters—Call for Participation

2024 Offering of Letters

Bread for the World

ESTHER leaders Deb Martin, Nancy Jones, and Connie Kanitz bring the Bread for the World letter writing campaign to each of their faith communities every year. This year’s focus is the Farm Bill, which is the nation's most important national food system legislation.  It is critical to the work of ending hunger at home and abroad. The letter (sample attached) features provisions we wish to see included in the bill.

We invite ESTHER friends to join us in writing letters to your US legislators or share info with your church during the month of March. Please watch the short video (under 3 minutes) included in this story to find out more about how you can participate in this important letter-writing campaign. Check contact info in the short video for assistance. Additional information found at

Click on the image to the left or watch at this YouTube link:

Join us for the Black Experience

Saturday, March 16, 2024 - 12:00pm - 4:00pm
201 E Birch St Black Creek, WI 54106

The Black Exerience FlierCome experience a preview of our African Immersion, planned and led by ESTHER’s new organizer, Miracle Wheeler.

A fun-filled educational day with authentic African American Food, African Drumming lessons, African dance tutorials, crafts for the kids, face painting, a powerful movie clip on Black History, Q&A session, hair-braiding experience and much more.

Register Here

Free Admission. Donations Accepted. Proceeds fund ESTHER’s African Immersion.

Oh, No! Not Critical Race Theory!!

Watch Professor Gloria Ladson-Billings, University of Wisconsin-Madison, speak on the distortions and misinformation currently being spread about Critical Race Theory and how to challenge and undo these. See her presentation, available on YouTube here, or click on the image below.

Professor Ladson-Billings’ talk was hosted by The Creating Beloved Community team of Taking a Faithful Stand for Equity on November 14, 2023.

ESTHER’s 2023 Yearbook Available for Viewing/Download

ESTHER 2023 Yearbook CoverESTHER’s 2023-24 Yearbook is now available for online viewing or download, along with a limited number of printed copies. The book was produced under the editorial leadership of ESTHER member Jill Smith with significant contributions from other ESTHER volunteers and ESTHER communications coordinator Kayla Nessmann.

Inside you’ll find…

  • descriptions of ESTHER’s goals, values and accomplishments, including the work of each of its task forces and work groups
  • a tribute in memory of Jill Smith, for whom the yearbook was a labor of love
  • many photographs
  • profiles of our annual award winners
  • feature essays about ESTHER people making a difference in the Fox Valley and beyond.

The yearbook also contains notices and ads sponsored by many friends of ESTHER in business, non-profit, and government circles.

The 2023-24 yearbook is available online now for you to review, or to download and read at your leisure (PDF). Click on the cover image (to the left), or use the button below to check it out.

View ESTHER Yearbook

We are enormously grateful to our financial sponsors, who are listed in the book. Please show your appreciation for their support of ESTHER by patronizing them or participating in events they sponsor.