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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

Understanding Title VI of the Civil Rights Act

Posted in
Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Zoom Meeting

Understanding Title VI of the Civil Rights Act

  • What is Title VI?
  • Why is Title VI so important?
  • What is required of local governments?
  • How might local residents concerned about equity & racial justice utilize this important law?

A virtual workshop with presenters

Kim Biedermann & Adam Bellcorelli

of East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission

Thursday, February 25, 7:00—8:30 PM

Register here

Sponsored by the Equity Network

A collaboration of ESTHER, League of Women Voters of Appleton, People of Progression and Stronger Together Fox Valley


Lenten Book Study on Race Relations in Honor of Black History Month

Posted in

Me and White Supremacy cover imageThe social justice committee of St. Bernard Parish (Appleton), an ESTHER partner, is sponsoring a Lenten book study group using the New York Times best seller, Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World and Become a Good Ancestor, by Layla F. Saad.

Saad is a well known consultant on race issues worldwide. Using a step-by-step reflection process, she encourages people with white privilege to examine their thoughts and behaviors (often unconscious) that affect Black people negatively. Journaling is an integral part of the program that will make the book-study meaningful for you as a transformational Lenten process. The weekly discussion in a group of peers will utilize the Circle Way, a non-hierarchical (no leader) style of listening, storytelling and respectful discussion. Please purchase an online version of the book at or a hard copy to your local bookstore.

We will meet via Zoom every Tuesday from 6:30-8:00PM, starting Feb. 23 and continuing through Mar. 30. To sign up or for questions, please contact Bill Kessenich, moderator, at

NEW Upstander Training

Posted in
Friday, February 26, 2021 - 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Zoom Meeting

Have you wanted the skills to interrupt bullying or other harmful hehaviors and comments? Are you looking for tools to invite people into challenging conversations rather than shutting them down? Do you wonder when it’s appropriate to Stand, Speak and Act?

If so, this event is for you.

Become an agent for change and a co-creator of positive narratives about race and other identities in your places of influence. Participants will unpack real-life scenarios to enable them to challenge prejudice effectively in our community.

Sponsored by Lawrence University Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Open to all Lawrence students, staff, and faculty. Wider Appleton communtity cordially invited.

Facilitated by trainers from Common Talks.


Demolishing the School-to-Prison Pipeline in Wisconsin

Wednesday, February 10, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Zoom Meeting


How do we end mass incarceration in Wisconsin?

By cutting off its food source: juveniles!

As we prepare to elect the next State School Superintendent, please join us for a timely discussion. 

Wednesday, February 10
6:30-8:00 PM
On Zoom: Click here to REGISTER

We will cover:

  • What is the school to prison pipeline?
  • How do we most effectively dismantle it?
  • How do we as parents, educators and beloved-community members protect our children from entering a system that turns into a life sentence?

Black History Month: Appleton Area School District

Posted in
Monday, February 1, 2021 - 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Zoom Meeting

appleton area school district logoCelebrate Black History

Appleton Area School District Black Student Union presents:

2021 Black History Month Celebration

The opening event, offered on Zoom, introduces Black History Month and features presentations and performances by AASD students and administrators, Appleton Mayor Jake Woodford and St. Louis singer LaToya Wilson.

Additional information available at the event Facebook page:

To register use this link:

21-Week Equity Challenge - United Way Fox Cities

Posted in

212 Week Equity ChallengeUnited Way Fox Cities is offering a 21-week “Equity Challenge,” a powerful opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of how inequity and racism affect our lives and our community. The challenge begins on February 1 (but participants can join any time) and continues through June 21. Each Monday during the challenge, participants will receive an email with topics to explore to develop deeper interpersonal understandings, build a stronger awareness of current systems, and engage in opportunities to take action.United Way Fox Cities

More information (and sign-up link) available on the United Way Fox Cities website.

The Challenge is based on the work of Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr., of the Green Bay Privilege Institute.

Memorial for COVID Victims in Wisconsin Prisons

Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - 5:30pm
State Prisons Around Wisconsin

For incarcerated lives lost to COVID Candlelight VigilPresident-elect Biden has asked the nation to mark a national COVID victims memorial on the eve of the Inauguration. See here for more about the memorial. WISDOM and EXPO leaders will lead Memorial Services in front of seven of the 14 Wisconsin prisons in which men and women have died of the virus. Prisons at which vigils will be held are listed below.

Details for all locations are the same:

Tuesday, January 19
5:30 pm
Masks are required and social distancing will be honored

Please bring your own candle.

Please try to arrive by 5:15.

The memorial services will be brief and prayerful.

Fox Cities Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Celebration

Monday, January 18, 2021 - 6:00pm
Virtual Event

“Living an Abolitionist Life: Resistance, Creativity, Hip Hop Civics Ed, Intersectionality, & Black Joy”

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Bettina Love

Dr. Love will discuss how intersectionality and Abolitionist teaching creates a space where Black livesDr. Bettina Love matter and sensibilities are nurtured to engage communities in the work of fighting for visibility, inclusion, and justice. Her talk will end by calling all of us to engage in critical dialogues about racial violence, oppression, and how to make sustainable change in our communities. She will challenge us to envision a world built on Black joy, creativity, imagination, boldness, ingenuity, and the rebellious spirit and methods of abolitionists.

Featured Musical Performance: “Agitate: A Story Through Song,” performed by Griot B

Sponsored by African Heritage, Inc., Lawrence University Diversity and Intercultural Center, and Fox Cities Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee

Everyone welcome. No charge.

Advance registration required for this
online event.

Register here.

⇐ Or register with your phone
by scanning this QR code.

A Seat at the Table of Power

This post was submitted by Penny Robinson

ESTHER encourages an African American to apply for appointment to the Grand Chute Police and Fire Commission

Background of racist social-media posts by police officer

Last summer ESTHER Organizer Bill Van Lopik was informed that Grand Chute Police Officer Laluzerne had posted racist comments on social media. Most of the posts were from high school, but a more recent one referred to Boogaloo, a white supremacist movement.

After connecting with a Black Lives Matter group, Bill and others from ESTHER joined a protest, at which Grand Chute Police Chief Greg Peterson agreed to meet with ESTHER President Gary Crevier. News surfaced that the department was conducting a thorough investigation of Laluzerne. Some wondered if an outside, unbiased individual or group should conduct such investigations. The officer was thoroughly questioned and “put on notice,” but was not disciplined or fired.1

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