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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
Tuesday, June 28, 2022 - 4:00pm - 5:30pm
ESTHER Communications Committee Meeting Zoom Meeting
Tuesday, June 28, 2022 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Environmental Justice Task Force zoom meeting
Monday, July 4, 2022 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
ESTHER Prison Reform Task Force St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 140 South Green Bay Road, Neenah
Tuesday, July 5, 2022 - 4:30pm - 6:00pm
Oshkosh ESTHER Task Force Meeting B‘Nai Israel Congregation, 1121 Algoma Blvd, Oshkosh
Tuesday, July 5, 2022 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
EXPO/FREE Meeting Most Blessed Sacrament Church 448 High Avenue Oshkosh

ESTHER is Hiring: Lead Organizer


Position Announcement


Posted May 26, 2022

ESTHER is seeking a Lead Organizer to serve as its primary employee, providing both operational and strategic leadership of the organization. Responsibilities include organizing, recruiting, training, and supporting leaders within ESTHER to advance our mission as well as maintaining a network of strong relationships with people within our partner faith communities, persons impacted by the issues we address, and participants in strategic alliances within the wider community. The organizer works closely with the Finance Committee to plan fundraising for the organization, including applying for grants, serves ex-officio on the Board of Directors and supervises other employees of the organization. ESTHER’s Lead Organizer also participates in operational leadership of WISDOM as a member of its staff table.

This full-time, salaried position requires flexible hours, including evenings and weekends, and frequent travel.

To apply …

Submit résumé and letter of interest by June 15, 2022, to Review of applications will begin shortly thereafter.


Suppressed and Sabotaged: The Fight to Vote

Posted in
Wednesday, June 1, 2022 - 6:30pm
Menasha Public Library

This is a public screening of Suppressed and Sabotaged: The Fight to Vote. This film shines light on the dark corners of our country's voting processes, including the increase of vote-restricting laws passed through legislation prior to, during and after the 2020 election cycle. Panel discussion following the film. Sponsored by ESTHER and the League of Women Voters of Appleton-Fox Cities

Fox Cities People & Politics

Wednesday, June 1, 2022 - 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Legends Cuts & Styles, Fox River Mall, 4301 W Wisconsin Ave, Appleton

Fox Cities People & Politics. We'll be discussing Unlock the Vote, storytelling around the constitutional amendment, and hearing from elected officials, candidates and appointees who impact us as System-Impacted People

Sponsored by EXPO, FREE, Legends Cuts & Styles and ESTHER. Follow the Facebook event page for latest information.

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

ESTHER’s Lead Organizer, Bill Van Lopik, Stepping Down

After almost six years of dedicated work with ESTHER, Bill Van Lopik has decided to step down from his position as Lead Organizer. He will begin his well deserved time of retirement at the end of June of this year. ESTHER will miss this gentle man’s presence with his effective style of leadership.

It is a leadership that flows from his lifelong awareness of, sensitivity to and passion for marginalized people living under systemic injustices. Bill has a unique ability to reach out to people, listen to them intently and make them feel welcomed in his presence. It was that grace that allowed others to share their own passion for injustices and then to become part of existing ESTHER task forces or to begin new ones.

Bill Van Lopik’s Retirement Letter

May 2, 2022

Dear Friends, 

I began working as a community organizer with ESTHER in 2016. My goal was to continue the successes of my predecessors in building a powerful and respected social justice organization in NE Wisconsin. Over the course of the last 6 years ESTHER has indeed grown in terms of budget, membership, task forces, and the issues which we have won. In retrospect, I am the one who has grown and been blessed over the years by the incredible volunteers, donors and leaders who are the lifeblood of the organization. It is within this context that I have decided that now is an appropriate time for me to retire from full-time organizing with ESTHER on July 1.

Community Conversations: A Faithful Response to Renters’ Needs

Posted in
Monday, May 23, 2022 - 6:00pm
Trinity Episcopal Church, 203 Algoma Blvd, Oshkosh

COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS: A Faithful Response to RENTERs’ Needs:In Oshkosh, rental units are expensive and in short supply. 42% of renter households pay more than 30% of their income in rent. Join us for a conversation about renting in Oshkosh and learn how we can have a faithful response to renter's needs. This event is part of ESTHER's Community Conversations Series. We invite all to join! Free Parking and Onsite Childcare Available.

EXPO Empathy Day of Action

Posted in

A couple weeks ago, I had the privilege of going to the state capital in Madison for EXPO’s Empathy Day of Action. We spent the day learning from EXPO leaders, senators, and representatives on Unlock the Vote and AJR 107. Using the information we learned, we got to have conversations with our legislators, representatives, and their staff. We met with those who voted in favor of AJR 107 which is a constitutional amendment that was created after the Waukesha parade tragedy. 

This amendment would change the eligibility and release conditions prior to a conviction. This amendment would also create a stricter cash bail system by making it possible for judges to consider past criminal history when setting bail charges. Setting higher bail charges would punish low-income people and keep more people incarcerated if they cannot pay bail. 

Shackling of Pregnant Incarcerated Women

Posted in

At ESTHER’s most recent Mental Health Task Force meeting, we were joined by two women who educated us on an issue that is currently affecting incarcerated pregnant women. 

One of the women who joined us was Felicia Turner-Walton, who is the CEO and Founder of Healing Our Hearts. This is a non-profit based out of Madison that provides support to those that have experienced loss. This organization is committed to providing an understanding of grief that is centered around black and brown communities. 

The issue they covered during our meeting was the injustice of shackling and how it affects incarcerated pregnant women. Prisons have historically been designed by men, for men. Inmate treatment has therefore not taken into account women’s specific needs. Pregnant inmates are thus shackled while receiving medical care because that is how all inmates are treated. Shackling is an inhumane and dangerous practice as it limits the medical care that can be provided due to the restraints and it puts more stress on the pregnant woman or birthing mother.

When I first learned of this practice during our meeting, I had a mixture of feelings. On one hand, I was shocked to learn about this inhumane practice. On the other hand, I was not surprised as prison systems have historically been created to control black and brown communities. These systems of control therefore do not take into account the specific indignities that pregnant women face and the different treatment they need to receive. 


Solar Power Coming to Prince of Peace Lutheran Church

Prince of Peace Lutheran Church on Calumet has started the process of installing solar panels on their roof. In total, there will be 125 panels and the process should be completed in the next month or two. This project has been in the works for the past three years with extensive planning and fundraising. 

These panels will generate up to 45% of the electrical usage at Prince of Peace and reduce up to 62,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions that would otherwise come from electrical power. 

Prince of Peace is looking forward to the completion of this project and is excited to make their organization more environmentally friendly. This project will be a great addition to the Appleton community. For any more information or questions, contact Ron Jones at