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ESTHER’s 2023 Community Leadership Awards

For 2023, ESTHER is pleased to recognize two outstanding groups in the Northeast Wisconsin community which have been providing leadership and are working effectively for positive change in our area.

Menīkānaehkem (Menominee Rebuilders)

Menīkānaehkem logoMenīkānaehkem was started by dedicated and visionary leaders in 2015 to address disparities that Menominee tribal members face. The organization has grown into an impactful community movement embracing bold goals to change the future of the Menominee Tribe. Under the leadership of Executive Director Guy Reiter, Menīkānaehkem pursues innovative strategies and emphasizes transparency in everything it does. It is constantly growing and adapting to the changes of society.

Our Purpose: To rebuild and reconnect our sacred relationships with our people, plants, places and animals.

Our Mission: Work together to enhance and promote our lifeways and build a healthier Menominee community.

Our Vision: Rebuild our sacred connections so our lives are whole and bring opportunity to our people.

Our relationship with nature and all living beings dates back to the creation of our people. We have a special relationship with Mother Earth, all animals and nature. We are entrusted to be stewards of this world and to be a voice and advocate for those that don't have one. We are using this voice to advocate for the Rights of Nature Campaign.

League of Women Voters of Appleton-Fox Cities

Founded in 1920 by women suffragist leaders, the League of Women Voters has grown to over 500,000 members and 750 local Leagues in all 50 states. The League has a proud history of working to toward a more inclusive democracy at all three levels of government.

The dedicated volunteer members of The League of Women Voters of Appleton Fox Cities work hard to fulfill the League’s mission to empower voters and defend democracy all around the Fox Cities. This takes many forms including tabling at most major events where The League provides information to help engage voters and provide reliable nonpartisan information on upcoming elections. Their newly redesigned, professionally managed website,, attracts increasing numbers of viewers who can find recorded candidate forums and interviews as well as candidate questionnaires that help them cast an informed vote.

The League recently completed a two-year study on health care in the Fox Cities, which resulted in a strong position statement that will be the basis for advocacy for more equitable health care delivery in our community. The League’s wide-ranging local positions provide the foundation for advocacy with local governments. League observers regularly attend local government meetings to keep their fingers on the pulse of important issues. You will often see League leaders making statements at these meetings, both to hold elected officials accountable and also to commend them when they make decisions that positively impact our citizens.

The League also sponsors informative meetings for the public. This past year, meeting topics included uncovering discrimination in the Fox Cities, updates on voting procedures, affordable housing, Wisconsin Courts, immigration in the Fox Valley, and local journalism. In addition, they regularly sponsor virtual town halls with Fox Cities legislators.

The League partners with ESTHER and other dedicated community organizations to make life better for everyone in our community!

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