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Building community, sharing hope, and standing for justice since 2004

Real America’s Jorge Ramos Covers MMIWG2S

On May 20, Univision’s Real America with Jorge Ramos featured an 8-minute segment on the movement to fight for justice and raise awareness about the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2-spirit people. This important national report features our sisters Alysse Arce and Kristin Welch.


One Special ESTHER Leader

This year the ESTHER board nominated Steve Hirby for the Celebrating Volunteers Janet Berry Award.  While another worthy volunteer was selected, ESTHER would like to recognize Steve for everything he has done and continues to do for our organization. Steve’s dedication and his expertise in not only fundraising but also data management have been instrumental in our ability to thrive as an organization. Steve is a visionary and an organizing member of the board.  He has a standing position on the board and the executive team not just as a representative of his faith community or a task force but because he is … Steve.

As part of the nomination process, we asked people from three other organizations to write letters of support and their response was immediate and positive. Pastor Steve Savides (First Congregational United Church of Christ) wrote about there being no one more “beloved or respected” than Steve in the church, Pastor Jane Anderson wrote about ways Steve has been instrumental in helping the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ re-envision itself and position itself for the future, and Maren Peterson, Executive Director of NAMI, wrote about ways Steve has been a “lifeline of hope” for hundreds of individuals and families in the Fox Valley.  All spoke to his kindness, open mindedness, patience and keen intelligence.

Steve exemplifies the spirit of the Janet Berry Award. He truly is “A volunteer who has made great strides in his efforts to impact positive change in the Fox Valley, by creating, working for, and donating to a local community organization, and [his] efforts through time, resources, and influence – have been paramount to the success not only of [ESTHER] but also in building a just community.” We were very proud to nominate Steve Hirby for the Janet Berry Award.

Sponsor Spotlight: Waqsecewan Indigenous Catering

Lizette Bailey, of Waqsecewan Indigenous Catering, will cook you anything you want, and you will absolutely love it. Her specialty is Pre-contact Indigenous food, the foods that Native Americans prepared before everyone came over to North America. She states, “I serve vegans, vegetarians and anyone with any type of allergy.  I make any kind of food.  Italian, Asian, Pub Grub…you name it.”

Wāqsecewan (pronounced: Watah-Chee-Win) means: “Flows Bright” or “Bright Flowing Water.” A more specific description is, “How the light is so sparkly on top of flowing water.” She is Turtle Clan of the Menominee.

Wāqsecewan (Lizette) wants to reopen her catering business.  She wants to do it safely, by serving smaller parties in a socially distanced manner. She says, “I love it when I cater an event and when I share a story about the food that was prepared. When people are eating, there is a smile. It is so important.”

Wāqsecewan can be reached either by phone or email:  715-851-9501 • waqsecewancooks@gmail.com. Give her a call. Miigwech!

—Jill Smith

Read her story (and a recipe) in her own words below.

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

Rally: Citizenship for Essential Workers and Families

Date: 
Sunday, April 18, 2021 - 3:00pm
Location: 
Brown County Court House, 100 S Jefferson St, Green Bay

Join Voces de la Frontera Essential Workers Rights Network in Green Bay for a press conference and rally to demand citizenship for all in the forthcoming COVID-19 reconciliation budget bill! Now is the time to make noise and demand that our congressional representatibes vote to legalize essential workers - because they are essential, not deportable.

This event is part of a statewide caravan and relay across America demanding to a stop to deportations, COVID recovery for all, and citizenship for all.

Sponsored by Casa Esther, ESTHER and Voces de la Frontera Action.

Download and share the attached flier.

Sustainable Saturday Night: Indigenous-Led Resistance to Extraction Industries

Date: 
Saturday, March 27, 2021 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: 
Zoom Meeting

ESTHER’s Environmental Justice Task Force is pleased to bring this event your attention

About this eventOur Revolution

Extraction industries are destroying people and planet for the profit of a few. Whether it's Enbridge’s Line 3 and Line 5 to carry dirty tar sands oil across Wisconsin for export or the Back Forty metallic sulfide mine that threatens the Menominee River, extraction is running rampant in our state with little to no oversight.

But the people, led by indigenous groups, are fighting back. In this event, Our Wisconsin Revolution is joining with Building Unity’s Sustainable Saturday Night series to present a town hall on Indigenous-Led Resistance to Extraction Industries.

Join us for the first half hour to hear original music about Line 3 from singer-songwriter Larry Long, as well as testimony from two recent visitors to the Line 3 resistance camps: Justice Peche, OWR board member and Green Bay chapter leader, and Tim Cordon, Social Justice Coordinator at First Unitarian Society of Madison.

Then our program will get underway at 6:30 p.m. with a lineup of speakers that includes:

New Book: A Spirituality for Doing Justice

WISDOM

David Liners, WISDOM organizer, recommends this new book on the spirituality of community organizing.

Rev. Dennis Jacobsen, one of the founders of MICAH and WISDOM, and long-time pastor of Incarnation Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, has written a wonderful new book, called A Spirituality for Doing Justice: Reflections for Congregation-based Organizers (Fortress Press, 2021). In just a few pages, Dennis Jacobsen draws us into a world of graceful art, of brutal inner-city realities and the Children of God who battle them, of majestic nature, of family, Church, politics, and the inscrutable God who calls us deeper into mystery through all of it. Jacobsen enters each of these realms with humility and a sense of awe, and he models a deep spirituality that is transcendent, incarnational, and deeply authentic.

The book is beautifully written, and immensely practical for those of us who are striving to nurture a “spirituality for doing justice.”

The book can be ordered from your favorite bookstore. Or, you can order it on-line from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Better World Books, ThriftBooks, AbeBooks, etc.

Demolishing the School-to-Prison Pipeline in Wisconsin

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

WISDOM

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?

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.

John Lewis Voter Advancement Day Votercade

Posted in
Date: 
Saturday, May 8, 2021 - 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Location: 
Appleton East High School Parking Lot, 2121 E Emmers Dr, Appleton

On May 8th, let’s make some Good Trouble

Hands Off Our Vote!

Defeat Voter Suppression

Save the Date John Lewis Voter MobilizationThe League of Women Voters of Appleton invites you to join them in their John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Action Day “Votercade” on Saturday, May 8 at 1pm! This event is one of over 100 events across the nation to pass the For the People Act (H.R. 1), the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 4), D.C. Statehood and address the filibuster to do so.

The Appleton Votercade will be following Covid-19 pandemic precautions (outdoors, no close contact, masks) and assemble at Appleton East High School on Saturday, May 8 at 1pm.

Participants should have their cars decorated with signs, placards, streamers, etc. Some signage will be available during assembly. The Votercade will begin at 2 pm and follow a designed route through Appleton, following all traffic rules and speed limits and return to the high school. The event will end around 3:00 pm.

The parade will be strictly nonpartisan in keeping with the League’s nonpartisan status and core mission of “empowering voters and defending democracy.”