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Racial Equity

Film Showing and Panel: Milwaukee 53206

Saturday, January 19, 2019 - 1:30pm - 3:30pm
Fox Valley Technical College, Room E130 (Entrance 10), Appleton

Milwaukee 53206 Film ImageJoin us to watch Milwaukee 53206, a powerful documentary that chronicles the lives of those affected by incarceration in America's most incarcerated city. This film tells the story of people from Milwaukee and across the United States who live with the daily effects of mass incarceration. There is no charge to attend.

Immediately following the screening, there will be a panel discussion chaired by Dr. Sylvia Carey Butler, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Support of Inclusive Excellence, UW-Oshkosh. The panel features people with personal or professional experience in the harmful effects of Wisconsin’s over-use of jails and prisons and expertise in alternatives.

Madison Action Day 2019

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 9:00am - 4:00pm
Madison Masonic Center, 301 Wisconsin Ave, Madison

View of State Capital from Above

WISDOM’s Madison Action Day

A day of collective action with leaders across Wisconsin in our state capitol.

Time is Short - Register Now!

It’s less than a week until Madison Action Day! There’s already a large group going from the Fox Cities, you can still be part of it.

Here’s your chance to join leaders from all parts of Wisconsin in a day of action and movement-building to get our issues and values on the minds of legislators while they are making their budget decisions. We’ll be emphasizing the values of the Beloved Community: radical inclusion, reconciliation, and living for the seventh generation. $40 cost includes transportation. Sponsorships available on request.

Register Now!

Buses will be transporting people to the event from Appleton and Oshkosh. Click Read more below for details.

Follow Madison Action Day 2019 on Facebook.

Justice Connection Saturday: Immigration Justice

Saturday, November 17, 2018 - 4:30pm - 6:30pm
Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 2600 E Phillip Ln, Appleton

ESTHER is pleased to bring this event, hosted by the Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, to the attention of ESTHER members and friends.

Laureen Anderson-StepanekLaureen Anderson-Stepanek, an immigration lawyer, will present on allyship and substantive steps we can take to support immigrant rights vs. the “feel good” response. We will also hear from the leadership of Unidos Por Un Futuro Mejor, a local immigrant rights and education group. The Fox Cities SURJ Rapid Response team will present on meaningful ways we as bystanders can respond to emergency situations and disrupt detainments. The Fellowship Shared Sanctuary Committee will provide education on the sanctuary movement and ways to be involved in this effort at the Fellowship.

Ms. Anderson-Stepanek, a partner in the Chicago law firm Katsivalis & Anderson Law, LLC, has spent her whole legal career as an immigration lawyer, concentrating, her practice in complex immigration matters since 2002. As Ms. Anderson-Stepanek's practice has grown she has expanded into the areas of family and removal defense, specifically those related to criminal issues and appellate matters, including to the federal court.

This event is part of The Fellowship’s “Justice Connection Saturday” series. Childcare will be available. No sign-up required.

Walk in our Shoes: Understanding the Latino Experience

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - 6:00pm - 8:30pm
Memorial Presbyterian Church, 803 E College Ave, Appleton

Walk in our shoes

A workshop to experience challenges faced in the daily life of Latino/a immigrants of the Fox Cities,
with community conversation & information
to increase cultural sensitivity & awareness of immigration issues.

Open to the public and free of charge. Advance registration required - deadline extended!

Register by October 29th 20th — Space is limited:

Event is limited to 50 participants. If you register and then need to cancel, please let us know so we an notify the wait-list.

Sponsored by:

ESTHER - World Relief - Thrivent Financial - Memorial Presbyterian Church - Dignity & Respect - Menasha Pub Libr - Stronger Together Fox Valley - Volunteer Fox Cities

Help spread the word - download and distribute the attached flyer!

“Locking Up Our Own”: A Talk by James Forman, Jr.

Thursday, October 11, 2018 - 7:30pm
Lawrence University Wriston Hall Auditorium (S. Lawe St. south of the Library)

James Forman Jr., author of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction for Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America, will deliver a talk that explores the rise of mass incarceration and its disproportionate impact on people of color. The talk will be followed by a signing of his book, which is hailed as “superb and shattering” by The New York Times.

James Forman Jr. headshot

Forman explores how the war on crime that began in the 1970s was supported by many African American leaders in the nation’s urban centers and seeks to understand why. His exploration began when Forman served as a public defender in Washington, D.C. After he failed to keep a 15-year-old out of a juvenile detention center, he wondered how the mayor, the judge, the prosecuting attorney, the arresting officer, even the bailiff—all of whom were black—could send so many of their own to a grim, incarcerated future.  

Now a professor at Yale Law School, Forman will explore the answers in his talk.  He will show how good intentions and pressing dangers of the last 40 years have shaped the get-tough approach in the culture at large and in black neighborhoods.

This event is free and open to the public, and no registration is required.

[The text of this article draws heavily from the LU press release about this event, found here:]

Color-Brave Photo Project on Display

Posted in
Thursday, September 27, 2018 (All day) - Wednesday, October 3, 2018 (All day)
Appleton Public Library, 225 N. Oneida Street, Appleton

color brave photo project bannerFit Oshkosh’s traveling exhibit, “The Color-Brave Photo Project: Black and Brown Faces, a New Narrative,” will be on display from September 27 through October 3 at the Appleton Public Library on the first floor.

The Color-Brave exhibit features photographs of people of color who live in Oshkosh. The photos are accompanied by stories about the person’s life. The exhibit seeks to shift common stereotypes about people of color, to explore the negative impacts these false narratives have on the community and to celebrate residents of color.

Opening Reception and Conversation - Color-Brave Photo Project

Posted in
Thursday, September 27, 2018 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Appleton Public Library, 225 N. Oneida Street, Appleton

color brave photo project bannerJoin ESTHER and Fit Oshkosh at the Appleton Public Library on September 27 for the opening of “The Color-Brave Photo Project: Black and Brown Faces, a New Narrative.”

This traveling exhibit, a project of Fit Oshkosh, will be on display starting September 27 through October 3 at the Appleton Public Library on the first floor. The exhibit will be introduced at a reception and community conversation hosted by ESTHER and facilitated by Fit Oshkosh.

The Color-Brave exhibit features photographs of people of color who live in Oshkosh. The photos are accompanied by stories about the person’s life. The exhibit seeks to shift common stereotypes about people of color, to explore the negative impacts these false narratives have on the community and to celebrate residents of color.

“Ultimately, the exhibit is a celebration of people of color, our choices and our lives with our own images and stories,” said Tracey Robertson, Fit Oshkosh Executive Director. This project was funded by the Wisconsin Humanities Council and the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation. The Color-Brave Photo opening reception and community conversation is sponsored by ESTHER.

Dignity and Respect Campaign: 2nd Community Conversation

Posted in
Thursday, May 31, 2018 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Appleton Public Library, 225 North Oneida St., Appleton

“Tell Them We Are Rising” posterA screening and discussion of Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities. Learn about the history of black colleges and universities in American, which have educated the architects of freedom movements and cultivated leaders in every fgield. A Community Conversation wil be led afterwards by Karen Nelson, Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator, City of Appleton. Celebrating inclusion of all ages, cultures and backgrounds, the Dignity and Respect Campaign is a year-long engagement for the entire community.

Free and open to the public.

Sponsored by City of Appleton, Wisconsin Public Television, and Lawrence University.

For more information, email or call 920-832-6400.

WISDOM Gubernatorial Candidate Forum

Monday, June 11, 2018 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Country Springs Hotel, 2810 Golf Rd, Pewaukee, WI



At this forum, WISDOM leaders from around the state will be asking gubernatorial candidates very specific questions about their intentions in the areas of criminal justice reform (including parole, crimeless revocations, treatment alternatives to incarceration, Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility, solitary confinement), public transportation, childhood poverty, health care, immigration, education, mining.

WISDOM affiliates on Wisconsin map

Confirmed candidates so far include:

  • Matt Flynn
  • Andy Gronik
  • Mike McCabe
  • Mahlon Mitchell
  • Kelda Roys
  • Kathleen Vinehout
  • Dana Wachs

Candidates unable to attend, expressing regrets: Tony Evers, Paul Soglin

Also invited, awaiting response: Scott Walker

Hosted by the WISDOM network.

Car-pooling from Northeast Wisconsin is being arranged, including reimbursement of cost of gasoline for those who drive. Contact ESTHER by phone (920-843-8083) or email ( to make arrangements.

For the most current information, see the event page on Facebook:

“I Am Not Your Negro” - Public Showing

Posted in
Thursday, May 10, 2018 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Emmanuel United Methodist Church, 740 E College Ave, Appleton

I Am Not Your Negro posterI Am Not Your Negro is a 2016 American documentary film directed by Raoul Peck, based on James Baldwin's unfinished manuscript, Remember This House. Narrated by actor Samuel L. Jackson, the film explores the history of racism in the United States through Baldwin's reminiscences of civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr, as well as his personal observations of American history. It was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 89th Academy Awards and won the BAFTA Award for Best Documentary.

This film is “must see” for anyone who wants to understand the state of race relations in this country today. You should see it if you have been wondering why Black people today seem so angry. It will show you why Black people are tired of waiting for the fulfillment of the promises of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. You will see that, while some progress has been made, old forms of oppression and exploitation persist and new ones, like mass incarceration, have decimated Black communities.

Fit Oshkosh - because race mattersA moderated discussion will follow the film. No charge. All are welcome.

Presented by ESTHER in collaboration with Fit Oshkosh. Thanks to Emmanuel United Methodist Church, Appleton, for hosting this event.

Help spread the word; download and share the event poster (click on 'Attachment' below).

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