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Racial Equity

Until How Long?

Almost lost in the news of the gut-wrenching testimonies in the death of George Floyd is the equally horrific increase by 150% in the attacks and killings within our beloved Asian community in the past year. The killings of Asian women in Atlanta and the brutal attack on an elderly Asian woman on the streets of New York are only recent examples of this ongoing tragedy in our midst. Members of the Asian community in the Fox Cities are being harrassed as well.

And then there is the plight of the high percentage of missing and/or murdered indigenous women. Mark Charles, indigenous author of Unsettling Truths, adapted a diagnosis from psychologist Rachel McNair, who says that some perpetrators of crime suffer from Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stess (PITS). Charles suggests that we as a country suffer from the same trauma, a subconscious guilt after four-hundred years of genocide and slavery, and don’t even realize it.

How long will it take for us to face our denial as a nation? Growth in this consciousness within our community will occur when we are willing to face reality and see ourselves as part of our national systemic racism. We as members of ESTHER encourage all of us to realize that we can no longer consider ourselves to be “innocent bystanders” to what is happening in America today. Last week, Ron, a young South Korean, asked that we “be self-aware, speak up, ask questions, be genuine and have respect for everyone.”

Gary Crevier
ESTHER President

Kristin Welch Will Receive ESTHER’s Community Leadership Award

We Are Proud to Present this Award to Kristen Welch

ESTHER is proud to present its Community Leadership Award to Kristen Welch a member of the Menominee Nation. She  is a trained Community Organizer with the Indigenous led non-profit Menīkānaehkem, and she is also a lead organizer for the Womens Leadership Cohort MMIW. Her work includes revitalizing traditional matriarchal roles within indigenous communities through identity work, systems change, and advocacy for survivors of violence. 

The Women's Leadership Cohort Combats the Tragedy of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

The Womens Leadership Cohort combats the MMIW epidemic by creating access to traditional knowledge, community organizing, policy change and community education. Kristin helps provide training in advocacy skills, power mapping, policy work, wellness work, and group facilitation, to empower Indigenous women organizers to create meaningful campaigns for social change.

Many Years of Experience in Mental Health Work

She currently sits on the Governors Council on Mental Health and is the co-chair for the Adult Quality Committee.  She has 10 years of experience in mental health, family wrap around care (CST), AODA prevention, and Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault advocacy before becoming a grassroots organizer. 

Work Using Traditional Native American Methods and Approaches

She is a proud mother of three, and a member of the healing society Three Fires Confederacy Midewewin Lodge.  She believes strongly that creating partnerships with both formal and informal supports within tribal communities will help build and strengthen an Ecosystem of Care that is equitable, easily accessible, and sustainable. Her work utilizes Indigenous wellness models that offer alternate pathways to healing and are critical for healing and recovery work within tribal communities and for those who serve Indigenous peoples.

When asked why she chose this work, Kristen replied, “We got started out of a necessity.  So many women and families were impacted directly or indirectly.  We had to make sure that Indigenous women were leading the fight and lifting up our families.”

 

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