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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, May 28, 2024 - 3:00pm - 4:30pm
ESTHER Communications Committee Meeting Zoom Meeting
Tuesday, May 28, 2024 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm
ESTHER Environmental Justice Task Force Meeting Zoom meeting
Wednesday, May 29, 2024 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
ESTHER Executive Committee Zoom Meeting
Saturday, June 1, 2024 - 12:00pm - 3:00pm
The Black Experience: Family 116 E Wisconsin Ave, Appleton
Monday, June 3, 2024 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
ESTHER Transformational Justice Task Force St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 140 South Green Bay Road, Neenah

The Black Experience: Family

Saturday, June 1, 2024 - 12:00pm - 3:00pm
116 E Wisconsin Ave, Appleton

The Black Experience: Family

Save the Date!

NOTE THE NEW LOCATION - this event has been moved to Appleton


Learn about some of the strong traditions and characteristics of some Black families. Although no one family is identical to any other, there are similarities.

Free Admission • Donations Accepted

Housing Conversations to Inspire Change: Fox Valley Speaks

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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.

ESTHER 20th Anniversary Banquet: Save the Date

Saturday, November 16, 2024 - 5:00pm
Waverly Beach Banquet Hall, N8770 Fire Lane 1, Menasha

Save the Date

Help ESTHER celebrate 20 years of
Building Community, Sharing Hope, Standing for Justice
In the Fox Valley Region

Keynote speaker: Keith Findlay, professor emeritus, UW Law School, and Co-founder, The Innocence Project

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.

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.

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.

Film Showing: “The Invisible Class”

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Tuesday, May 7, 2024 - 6:00pm
First Congregational United Church of Christ, 724 E. South River St, Appleton

On May 7, ESTHER and First Congregational UCC of Appleton will offer a public showing of “The Invisible Class,” a documentary about homelessness all acoss America, its criminalization, and the devastating impacts of the loss of affordable housing.

Doors open at 5:30 pm, Film showing 6:00 pm
Q&A with panelists will follow.

The film explores what it truly means to be homeless in America, challenging stereotypes and examining the systemic causes of mass homelessness in the wealthiest nation in the world. The film contains strong, potentially offensive language; not recommended for young viewers.

Mass homelessness in the United States didn’t always exist, so how did we get to where we are today? What are the root causes? What should we know about homelessness in the Fox Valley region? What is being done to address it?

View Trailer on YouTube.

Help spread the word—download and share the attached flier!

Northeast Wisconsin Housing Policy Institute

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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.