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Fair Housing Presentation at Neenah Public Library

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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.

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!

End the Lockdowns Community Forum - Green Bay

Thursday, March 7, 2024 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Mulva Library St. Norbert College 400 3rd Street De Pere WI 54115

WISDOM and Partners Host End the Lockdowns Community Forum in Green Bay

End the Lockdowns Community Forum flierWISDOM, ESTHER and JOSHUA host End The Lockdowns Community Forum on Thursday, February 22, 2024 from 6:00-8:00PM at St. Norbert College (Mulva Library) 400 3rd Street, De Pere, WI 54115.

Join us to meet Green Bay elected officials, learn about WISDOM’s End the Lockdowns Campaign and provide input on transformational justice priorities in Wisconsin. This event follows successful events in Milwaukee and Madison with elected officials.

WISDOM’s End the Lockdowns Campaign seeks to:

  • Raise awareness on the detrimental effects of lockdowns to people who are incarcerated in Wisconsin’s prisons and their loved ones.
  • Build build grassroots support urging Governor Tony Evers to use his authority to take action.
  • Close prisons, reduce the prison population, and reinvest spending into community resources that decrease crime and strengthen communities.

Register to attend the event in advance at If you would like to participate in car-pooling from the Fox Cities to attend this event, please leave a message at

Moving from Charity to Justice: Advocacy Workshop

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Sunday, October 15, 2023 - 1:00pm - 4:30pm
First Congregational UCC, Fellowship Hall, 724 E South River St, Appleton

Moving from Charity to Justice
Advocacy Workshop

In Partnership with
Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice
Wisconsin Interfaith Voter Engagement Campaign
ESTHER affiliate, WISDOM network

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15 from 1:00-4:30pm
First Congregational United Church of Christ
724 E South River St
Appleton, WI

  • Examine our faith roots of Advocacy
  • Further our commitment to faith-based social justice
  • Training in Nuts and Bolts of Effective Advocacy

Registration Cost: $5.00. Register online at, click on the button below, or scan the QR code:

Register Now

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People’s Town Hall

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Saturday, September 16, 2023 - 4:00pm
Fox Valley UU Fellowship, 2600 E Phillip Ln, Appleton

Co-sponsored by Hate Free Outagamie and Appleton SDS

  • Share what matters to you about feeling safe & welcome in your community
  • Connect with your neighbors
  • Build people-power


Facebook event page:

“The Poor People’s Congress, A Moral Call for Revival” occurred. What was it like?

In Washington, D.C. from June 19th to the 23rd “The Poor People’s Congress, A Moral Call for Revival” occurred. What was it like?

         All of it was wonderful, through it was woven facts so serious and stories so powerful that those who attended are different than when we got on that plane in Milwaukee.

       This is called the “Third Moral Reconstruction”. The first one was the one that rewrote the Southern Constitutions to have more rights and guaranties than many Northern ones. That ended in bloodshed and tax cuts that left the government unable to fulfill its duties and generations of voter suppression.

      The second Reconstruction was the Civil Rights movements of the 1960’s. There were great gains until it ended with violence, the end of many public amenities in the South, and massive tax cuts. What are Conservatives preaching now? Tax cuts and restricting voting. The kickback is always worst when poor people are united, not divided by race. That was the history lesson.

        “Lift from the bottom. Leave no one behind.” Bishop Barber said, “If you aren’t willing for everyone to be helped. You aren’t part of this movement.” Which explain why we were from so many states, races, sexualities, and every other variety of human diversity.

      The economics lesson was clear. Poverty is the fourth leading cause of death in the US. No other democracy has a poverty rate like this, especially the childhood poverty rate. The poverty rate is shockingly racialized. The white rate of poverty is almost as low as England; it is the rates of poverty among other racial groups that leads to the US having a poverty rate higher than Costa Rica’s.

       The biggest thing we learned was the chant. “Forward Together. Not One Step Back”. What this means is that if the poor people of America and those that are one minor accident from becoming poor stuck together; they would be one third of voting Americans. That makes poor people one of the biggest voting blocks in America.

      We assembled in front of the Supreme Court to hear testimony, not to march. We heard from one woman from Nebraska who ate on alternating days with her husband eating on the days she didn’t. At least until food stamps gave her more money, because she was in the last trimester of pregnancy. At the hospital, doctors scolded her for not taking care of herself and the baby.

      Another woman was a successful teacher, owned her own house. American success story: until she got cancer, ran out of sick days, was fired and lost her insurance. She went into the hospital for a mastectomy, and was discharged to a homeless shelter. Her house was sold to pay medical bills.

       Each story was clear, poverty is systemic. Poverty is unjust. Poverty is not a personal issue. It is a policy choice.


Post written by 

Joyce Frohn


Building Healthy, Equitable and Sustainable Food Systems

Wednesday, May 31, 2023 - 7:00pm - 7:45pm

Building Healthy, Equitable and Sustainable Food Systems

ESTHER Issue Briefing and Action on the 2023 Farm Bill

May 31, 2023 - 7:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting:

One tap mobile: +13126266799,,85498608717# US (Chicago); +16469313860,,85498608717# US

Every 5 years, the omnibus Federal legislation known as the Farm Bill is reauthorized, offering an opportunity to make an impact on nutrition assistance, energy, the health of the environment, and more! In 2023, the Farm Bill reauthorization is viewed by many as the next best chance to impact climate change. 

Please join a short Zoom session for a briefing on the Farm Bill and to participate during our time together in taking action in support of building healthy, equitable and sustainable food systems through the reauthorization of the Farm Bill. This will be a quick, but consequential action.  

Hosted by ESTHER Leadership Board board representative from Prince of Peace Lutheran Church (ELCA), Nancy Jones. RSVPs appreciated to

Soliltary Confinement Cell Tour

Thursday, May 11, 2023 - 10:00am - 6:00pm
Friday, May 12, 2023 - 10:00am - 6:00pm
St. Joseph Catholic Church, 404 W Lawrence St, Appleton

This event is on both Thursday, May 11 from 10 am - 6 pm and Friday, May 12 from 10 am - 6 pm
To schedule a group or class to experience the cell, contact us at 920-843-8083 or

Madison Action Day 2023

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Thursday, April 27, 2023 (All day)
State Capitol, Madison

Latest news for Madison Action Day 2023

BREAKING NEWS!!  This is the link to the booklet that outlines our values and recommendations for the state budget.  It is called Building the Beloved Community:   WISDOM Priorities for 2023-25. We will use this to prepare for our visits and leave a copy with each of our legislators.  Review the information and share with others.  And if you haven't already, be sure to register for Madison Action Day! 

Ride and Rally for Reform!

Ride . . . . .     the bus to Madison
Rally . . . . .    on the Capitol Steps
Relay . . . . .   your views and values to your legislators
Reignite . . .   your fire for justice!

Register Now: MAD2023 Registration cost is $25, + optional t-shirt order is $10.  Your bus ride is free!

We will gather at the Wisconsin Masonic Center, 301 Wisconsin Ave, Madison at 9:00 am and then make our way together to the Wisconsin State Capitol Building. Event in Madison ends at 3 pm.

We still need more participants from the Fox Valley.  We have yet to fill our bus which can seat 48 people.

Let's come together, show up in Madison to share our values and budget priorities with our legislators.  We will be making recommendations regarding more funding for TAD, Driver's Licenses for undocumented residents, funding for lead abatement and expanding Badger Care. The morning plenary includes speakers to renew our energy and focus as we hear about costly reconciliation, radical inclusion, living for the seventh generation, and Brothertown. 

ESTHER is planning a zoom meeting on Wednesday, April 19 at 7:00 to help organize our district meetings. Zoom link is here This meeting will help us identify speaking roles in each legislative district and explain our budget recommendations that we will share with legislators. 

Questions:  Call the ESTHER office at 920-843-8083  or email at

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