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

Upcoming Events

Please join us for any of these upcoming ESTHER and related events!

  • To learn more about a particular event, click on its title
  • To see the complete ESTHER calendar, click on More at the bottom left of the listing
Monday, February 6, 2023 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
ESTHER Transformational Justice Task Force St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 140 South Green Bay Road, Neenah
Monday, February 6, 2023 - 7:00pm
Faithful Stance for Equity events Zoom meeting
Tuesday, February 7, 2023 - 4:30pm - 6:00pm
Oshkosh ESTHER Task Force Meeting Zoom and Various Locations in Oshkosh
Tuesday, February 7, 2023 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
EXPO/FREE Meeting Most Blessed Sacrament Church 448 High Avenue Oshkosh
Tuesday, February 7, 2023 - 7:00pm
Faithful Stance for Equity events Zoom meeting

Faithful Stance for Equity events

Posted in
Monday, February 6, 2023 - 7:00pm
Tuesday, February 7, 2023 - 7:00pm
Zoom meeting

Faithful Stance for Equity Events: Rev. Jennifer Butler speaking on Feb 5, 6 about White Christian Nationalism. Feb. 7: American Democracy and the Role of Faith

For the past 18 months, WISDOM and MICAH, along with our friends at the Wisconsin Council of Churches and Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice, have been sponsoring monthly events to help people of faith to be equipped to be effective advocates for equity.  Past meetings have include discussions on working to ensure that our schools teach the truth about the past and present in racism and intolerance, and how those have impacted us all.  

We have several important presentations in early February: 

Feb. 5, 6, 7.  Our coalition will sponsor an exciting series of events, Faith and Democracy, featuring Rev. Jennifer Butler, founder of "Faith In Public Life." Rev. Butler will be in Wisconsin for three days, as part of a national tour to train communities to reclaim their faith traditions to push back against the white Christian nationalism that is attempting to take over our electorate. 

Rev. Butler's visit aims to empower communities to push back more effectively against the misuse of religion and interrupt the grip that hypocrisy and heresy have - on white Christians in particular - across the current social and political landscape.

For any or all of the events, register here: See listing of the 3 workshops/webinars with Rev. Butler by clicking below on "read more" 

A Call to Vote in Feb 21 Primary and April 4 WI Spring elections:

Tuesday, February 21, 2023 - 7:00am - 8:00pm
Tuesday, April 4, 2023 - 7:00am - 8:00pm
Your polling place

Urgent Call To Action: Vote in the WI Supreme Court Justice Primary and Spring Elections

Cast Your Ballot in both of these important elections!
The Supreme Court’s decisions redefine our rights and possibilities for citizens to impact change.

February 21 Primary Election
April 4 Spring Election
for WI Supreme Court Justice and local races

Visit to check your registration and to see what’s on your ballot.

There are four WI Supreme Court Justice candidates. You can vote for one. The two receiving the most votes will advance to the April 4 Spring Election.

2023 WI Supreme Court Candidates

Ask all of your friends, family, colleagues to vote. Consider helping other local efforts to get out the vote. Both elections are critically important. Vote and make it clear to others that both elections are crucial for the future of Wisconsin.

Go to to learn about the candidates (alphabetical order):
Jennifer Dorow, Dan Kelly, Everett Mitchell, Janet Protasiewicz

Transit Equity Day 2023

Transit Equity (click for video)

Public Transit provides basic mobility for many in our communities. It is also essential urban infrastructure–just like roads, bridges, tunnels and utilities–that is crucial to the economic, social and environmental well-being of all our regions.

Everyone has a right to a public mass transit system that includes:


  1. Safe, reliable, environmentally-sustainable and affordable transit that is accessible to all, regardless of income, national origin, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, or ability.
  2. An affordable public transit system that reliably connects people in all communities to the places we need to travel: home, work, school, places of worship, shopping, health, and recreation, in as efficient, and timely a manner as possible. We must ensure that all communities have access to transit; no community should be left behind. Public transit in rural, less densely populated communities should be provided in any master transportation plan despite the special challenges that may present.
  3. Living wages, benefits, safe working conditions, and union rights for transit workers, including those who manufacture transit equipment, and access to family-sustaining transit jobs and training opportunities for people from underserved communities.
  4. A just transition for workers and communities who are dependent on our current automobile and highway-centered transportation system, to ensure that no one is left behind as we transition to a more public, accessible, and cleaner transit-based system.
  5. Rapid transition of our transit and school bus systems to electric, non-polluting buses powered by electricity from renewables.
  6. Safe, healthy and livable neighborhoods that are connected by public transportation and by bicycle pathways and sidewalks, and that are planned to expand safe access to transit and reduce single occupancy vehicle miles traveled.
  7. Dedicated and sustainable public funding for public transit.

April 27 Madison Action Day

Posted in
Thursday, April 27, 2023 - 10:00am - 4:00pm
Madison Capitol

Madison Action Day will be Thursday, April 27, 2023.

Here are some trainings over the next few months that will help to prepare us for Madison Action Day.
Madison Action Day is scheduled every other year, to coincide with the time that the legislature is working on the state budget.  This year, WISDOM, ESTHER's state partner, is hoping to offer 5 trainings, via zoom, to prepare for both the Budget Hearings and Madison Action Day. We advocate for funding that will help support gains and improvements in the issues on which we are working. Please start sharing these trainings with your contacts, your faith community, and other organizations. Watch for more information about signing up with ESTHER for travelling to Madison that day.  We hope to fill two buses from Fox Cities. The five trainings will be:

Thursday Feb. 9, 6:30 pm: State Budget 101

Thursday Feb. 23, 6:30 pm: WISDOM Budget Issues

Thursday March 9, 6:30 pm Telling your Story

Thursday March 23, 6:30 pm: Working with Legislators

Thursday April 13, 6:30 pm: Madison Action Day Orientation

To register for any or all of the first four trainings: WISDOM 2023 Spring Trainings


32nd Fox Cities Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration

Posted in
Monday, January 16, 2023 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Zoom Meeting

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Celebration

Keynote speaker: Henry Sanders, Madison365

“What is Your Life’s Purpose?”

Musical Performances:

Rosanna Williams, AASD Student

Kyree Allen, Lawrence University Alumni

Via Zoom. Registration required to attend:

Sponsored by Lawrence University, City of Appleton, United Way Fox Cities, Appleton Area School District, Boys and Girls Club of the Fox Valley, People of Progression, Pointers Community Initiaties, Covey

Follow-up for Transformational Justice Campaign Launch

The December 8 Transformational Justice Launch event in Madison was very energizing and productive. 
The day began with a panel that gave an overview of much of the work on Transformational Justice.  It includes important stories by people who have been formerly incarcerating, highlighting needs for changes. This panel presentation was covered by Wisconsin Eye, and can be seen here:   (It will ask you to subscribe to Wisconsin Eye.  There is no cost for that; it mostly just gets you on their mailing list).

The principal aims of the Transformational Justice Campaign are:

  • Invest in programs and strategies that will end the racial and economic disparities that fuel mass incarceration in Wisconsin
  • Reduce our prison population to 11,000, and reduce the number of people on extended supervision.
  • Justice Reinvestment: Allocate money, especially savings from reduced incarceration, to building up communities that have been most harmed by mass incarceration.
  • View people who have been convicted of a crime as human beings, members of families, and assets to the community.
  • Restore formerly incarcerated people to full participation in communities, the economy and civic life.   

                                                       See a list of issues that are prominent in the campaign. . . .

Governor listening sessions

Wednesday, December 14, 2022 - 6:00pm

More you can do for Transformational Justice.  The Governor is hosting Listening Sessions. Here are the two possibilities---one virtual, one local.  You can register now:  More details will be coming soon and, if you are registered you'll get those details.

Virtual Budget Listening Session 
Wednesday, December 14, at 6 p.m. 
Register to attend via Zoom here

Budget Listening Session in Green Bay 
Tuesday, December 20, at 5:30 p.m. 
Register to attend here

Please register for one if you can, and encourage others to do the same.  It is most helpful for each individual to focus on one thing (like TAD funding, or any of the other things listed in the transformational justice launch--see above story).  It is extra helpful if you have a testimony to share (even if you are not an "impacted" person,if you share why you care, it makes your testimony more powerful.


Dec 7 Community Vigil for Victims of Gun Violence

Wednesday, December 7, 2022 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Houdini Plaza, 111 W College Ave, Appleton

Vigil for Gun Violence Victims

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Houdini Plaza, downtown Appleton
6 - 7 pm.

Moms Demand Action-Wisconsin, Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort (WAVE) and ESTHER are hosting an Appleton vigil remembering gun violence victims. This vigil is in solidarity with Sandy Hook Promise in recognition of the 10 year-anniversary of Sandy Hook. The vigil recognizes ALL victims of gun violence. Join our community in a candlelight vigil to honor victims of gun violence. Candles will be handed out at Houdini Plaza. Conversation and pay-as-you-go-coffee afterwards at Copper Rock coffeehouse. Brief comments will be made by Rev. Hannah Roberts Villnave, Assistant Minister of Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Nancy Jones of WAVE, and Ann MacPhetridge of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

Link to facebook event here.

RSVP using this link.


Transformational Justice Campaign Launch

Thursday, December 8, 2022 - 10:00am - 4:00pm
Capitol Building and nearby, Madison, WI

Transformational Justice Campaign Launch

2023 and Beyond

State Capitol and nearby, Madison, WI

Register at

Email if you are interested in carpooling to Madison.

Watch recorded video of the first hour of the program here
Sponsored by WISDOM, FREE and EXPO


10 - 11 AM
Public presentation at the North Hearing Room in the State Capitol featuring remarks on Solitary Confinement, TAD, Old Law Parole, and Post-release Issues. Video of this is segment is available here.
1-2 PM
Start of Transformational Justice Convening: Welcome, Reflection, Icebreaker
11 AM - 12 PM
Drop Lit at Legislative offices and the Governor’s Office in the Stated Capitol
2-3 PM
Breakout Sessions by region: Madison Action Day and Joint Finance Committee hearings discussion
12 - 1 PM
Lunch at Grace Episcopal Church, 116 W Washington Ave, Madison
3-4 PM
- Breakout sessions: strategic planning for issue campaigns
- Closing remarks and calls to action

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