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Racial Equity

Juneteenth 2021 - African Heritage, Inc., Celebration

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Date: 
Sunday, June 13, 2021 - 12:00pm - 6:00pm
Location: 
Jones Park, 301 W Lawrence St, Appleton

Sponsored by African Heritage, Inc.

  • Live Music and Dance
  • Food and retail vendors
  • Get the Shot L.I.V.E. Campaign
  • Appleton Carnival Street Parade
  • AHI’s Black Graduation


More information, and to request tickets, at: https://africanheritageinc.org/juneteenth

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

Juneteenth 2021 - Freedom Day

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Date: 
Sunday, June 6, 2021 - 4:00pm - 10:00pm
Location: 
Jones Park, 301 W Lawrence St, Appleton

People of Progression
Kicks Off Juneteenth 2021

Freedom Day: June 6, 2021

  • Live music, local food vendors and small-business expo
  • Award ceremony, live poetry, spoken word presentations
  • Movie at 8:00 pm, by Fox City Flix


Additional information on the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/2330572347078229/

Action for Healing and Justice for MMIWG2S

Date: 
Wednesday, May 5, 2021 (All day)

ESTHER and Waking Women Healing Institute are teaming up to help create awareness for MMIW and ask that you join us in this cause. We are petitioning agencies, towns, villages, cities, counties and tribal nations to make public proclamations declaring May 5th as Day of Awareness for Missing Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit. In addition to the proclamation, we ask that, within your area, you light up structures/bridges/buildings red as a sign of respect, healing, and awareness of the many issues of MMIW.

Please sign this petition on change.org. The petition will be used to show widespread support for MMIW, and hopefully induce urgency to create meaningful changes to bring both justice and healing.

Watch for information about a Facebook Live event in Oshkosh on May 5, sponsored by ESTHER’s Mental Health Task Force and Oshkosh ESTHER.

Equity Network: A New Local Collaboration

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Equity Network 

A new local collaboration - An opportunity for you

2020 brought the pervasive disparities in our country into sharp relief, leaving many of us searching for ways to deepen our commitment to equity and racial justice work. Like ESTHER, many area organizations have been on their own journeys—learning and having conversations about systemic race issues and implicit biases. The idea of the Equity Network began with such a conversation among Stronger Together Fox Valley members, facilitated by Rachel Peller of Wisconsin Partners and coupled with an awareness of myriad potential partnering organizations. How might we collaborate in addressing or avoiding disparities in Fox Valley communities?

A legal framework for nondiscrimination exists within the Civil Rights Act of 1964, including expectations for planning and community input to assist local policymakers. The Equity Network aims to help provide a vital and often missing link between the intention of the law and the realization of equitable outcomes locally. Inequities and disparities can stem from a wide range of local policies and practices. It takes active monitoring by local residents to ensure that decisions are made in ways that promote the common good.

Equity Network: A New Local Collaboration

Posted in

Equity Network 

Equity Network: A new local collaboration - An opportunity for you

2020 brought the pervasive disparities in our country into sharp relief, leaving many of us searching for ways to deepen our commitment to equity and racial justice work. Like ESTHER, many area organizations have been on their own journeys—learning and having conversations about systemic race issues and implicit biases. The idea of the Equity Network began with such a conversation among Stronger Together Fox Valley members, facilitated by Rachel Peller of Wisconsin Partners and coupled with an awareness of myriad potential partnering organizations. How might we collaborate in addressing or avoiding disparities in Fox Valley communities?

A legal framework for nondiscrimination exists within the Civil Rights Act of 1964, including expectations for planning and community input to assist local policymakers. The Equity Network aims to help provide a vital and often missing link between the intention of the law and the realization of equitable outcomes locally. Inequities and disparities can stem from a wide range of policies and practices implemented at a local level. It takes active monitoring by local residents to ensure that decisions are made in ways that promote the common good.

The basic goal of this new collaboration is the creation of a regional network of organizations committed to monitoring local decision-making using a civil rights strategy that holds network members and policymakers accountable in our community.

Stronger Together Fox Valley quickly found partners in ESTHER, the League of Women Voters of Appleton, and People of Progression. Network participants continue to reach out to potential partners for equity work. The Equity Network is still in its early stages, so this is a great time to match your commitment to justice with serving as a monitor for a local policymaking board or committee that has impact on the issues you care about the most.

Please be part of ensuring equity in our communities’ decision-making.  Read more here

Or contact Nancy Jones, ESTHER Secretary.

Is A world of Plenty: Sci-Fi, God's Kingdom or Reality?

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 This was contributed by Joyce Frohn.

     Sometimes my two worlds, as a science fiction writer and political activist, run into each other. Or deal with the same problem. Right now, one of those is these is the idea of hope for the future. It's easy to think of things going wrong. In writing that's called, Dystopia. It's fairly easy to think of those ideas. But both the Christian idea of "The Beloved Community" and writing Utopian fiction requires thinking of things getting better in the world where we really live. Can we imagine that? We need to.

      What if the food pantry closed, not because there were no volunteers but because there were no people that needed it? What if all the charities that send clothes and food and medical supplies overseas weren't needed? What if we didn't need to advocate for fair trade because the people making the clothes could easily find out how much they were sold for? What if instead of just trying to ensure equal access to limited resources we could have all the resources we needed? What would it look like if everyone had access to medical care and education? What would that world look like?

       Our world is set up on the idea of scarcity. Whether it's people trying to make sure they have a monopoly on technology or their children to get to go to a better school or even that antique store that tells us that these items might be the only Pairpoint lamp or piece of artwork we'll ever see. This idea of scarcity is at the root of much of the world's evils. If we see that resources are few, we want those for our family, tribe or race. Soon we hate those we pushed aside. We fear that they will do to us what we have done to them.

      There is one secret that breaks our world of scarcity apart. There is enough. Enough food, enough clothes, enough medicine. Maybe there always has been enough. We just have to live as though there is enough. What does that look like? Maybe it's the beloved community. Maybe it's Utopia. But the best way to get there is to live as though we are already there.

        If there is plenty, we can ask ourselves, do I need that tool, dress, clock? After all, if I need it, I can always get it later. Do I need a lawnmower or could I burrow it from a friend? One less thing to clutter up a garage. We need to figure out what we really need to own if we don't have to worry about, "What if I need it later?"

        Ask yourself are you living the way you want to live? Or the way you think you have to live? The World is waiting for your answer.

 

Open Letter to Appleton Common Council

It was a shocking vote at last week’s Common Council meeting (4/21/21), when the Council sent back to committee the resolution addressing the increase in xenophobic, anti-Asian attacks in our country and the City of Appleton. After the courageous speaking out, especially by elders and then others, of the Hmong community – sharing their gut-wrenching experiences of fear after threats and harassment, the vote was in the hands of those who listened but did not hear.

A need that we all have when dealing with racism is to get out of our heads and into our hearts and the hearts of others. It is a letting-go experience. We need to respect the authors of the resolution that reflected the study, research, and words exposing the unsettling truths that give rise to fear in the Asian community. And yet some members of the Council offered intellectualizations to justify their opposition rather than to hear the trauma of the Asian community and to undestand the reasons why. Based on comments, tears and overall impressions given by members of the Hmong community after the meeting, they received the message that the Council would not support them in their fears.

Who are we to say that they need to ask for our support in a better way? Compassion, compassion, compassion.

—Gary Crevier, ESTHER President

Statement on Xenophobia, Racism, and Anti-Asian Violence

The Appleton, WI, Common Council hesitated this past Wednesday (April 21) when asked to pass a resolution condemning xenophobia, racism and anti-Asian violence and encouraging Appleton to become a more welcoming, inclusive community. ESTHER president Gary Crevier has issued this statement in response. For more background, please see this article from the Appleton Post-Crescent, published the day after the Council’s deliberations and decision. Click Read More below for the full text of the proposed resolution.

Dear ESTHER Folks,

As ESTHER president I spoke to Appleton’s common council this past week to support the resolution condemning xenophobia specifically related to our Asian & Pacific Islander community. We as ESTHER stand in solidarity with this beloved community. We are collectively disappointed in the Appleton Common Council’s action to push back the resolution to condemn xenophobia, racism, anti-Asian violence, and we are disturbed by their desire to change the AAPI narrative and lived experiences.

Thank you to Council Member Maiyoua Thao and all the sponsors of this resolution. We stand with you in calling out xenophobia, racism, sexism, and all forms of hate. We hope this resolution is not gutted from its original intent and that when it comes back to Council, the City will make a stand to support the AAPI community fully.

In these times of crisis, let’s come together and build strong communities of trust, where we all feel safe, where all workers are treated with dignity and respect, where all children feel comfortable going to school, where our elders are not shrouded in fear, and where all our loved ones have the freedom to thrive.

Please contact your Common Council representative to share your thoughts on this issue.

Gary Crevier

S/ Gary Crevier

ESTHER President

Bread for the World Offering of Letters

Date: 
Thursday, April 29, 2021 - 12:00pm
Location: 
Zoom Meeting

Bread for the World • Have Faith, End HungerA Special Invitation for ESTHER Faith Communities & Individual Members from

Bread for the World Midwest Regional Organizer Zach Schmidt

with Deb Martin, ESTHER-Oshkosh &

Nancy Jones, ESTHER Rep from Prince of Peace Lutheran, Appleton

2021 Offering of Letters / Ofrenda de Cartas al Congreso

We are excited to invite ESTHER faith communities and individual members to the 2nd annual Fox Valley Offering of Letters. This year’s campaign relates directly to the End Child Poverty work of WISDOM and ESTHER’s work on Equity and Racial Justice, and builds on the success of the 2019 Offering of Letters. (See this Congress Passes Global Nutrition Resolution video which features advocacy from WI’s 8th Congressional district.)

Please plan to join the webinar on Thursday, April 29, at noon for this fabulous opportunity to join with neighbors through the Fox Valley to address food insecurity and nutritional needs even as we continue to be physically distanced.

Learn more and register here.

Need more information? Learn more at these links:
What is Bread for the World?  Acerca de Pan para el Mundo
What is the Alliance to End Hunger?  - Interfaith and multi-sector
What is an Offering of Letters? Ofrenda de Cartas al Congreso
Does an Offering of Letters make a difference? Nuestro Impacto

Questions? Please leave a message for Nancy and Deb here.

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

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