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

An Interview with K of Taperz Barber Shop

By Jill Smith

Please meet Cainan Davenport, otherwise known as K the Barber. He and his friend Michael Linwood own Taperz, a family-oriented barber shop located almost on the corner of College Avenue and Richmond Street in Appleton. K had some free time, which is rare fpr such a busy man, and gave me a few minutes so I could ask him about his thriving business and about how he uses his business to serve our community.

How long have you and your friend, Wood, owned Taperz barbershop? What kind of services do you offer there?

We’ve been in business for a little over three years. Basically, we cut all races, ethnicity, and genders. We have created a comfortable “old school” environment where our customers can come to talk, laugh and get a great haircut.

We are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10-6. Our busiest time of day is every day, all day. Every time we are in the shop, we are pretty much busy.

You not only run a successful business but you use your space to invite neighbors to the shop on Sunday afternoons to discuss issues and just be together. Can you talk a little bit more about that?

The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote

By Penny Robinson

Her Voice Her Vote Our VictoryOn the evening of Thursday, August 25, The League of Women Voters of Appleton hosted keynote speaker Elaine Weiss, author of the highly acclaimed narrative history The Woman’s hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote.

An accomplished storyteller, Ms. Weiss riveted the well-informed audience with details and photos, allowing them to feel that they almost were present. For three generations the suffragettes persisted, continuing to organize even after repeated failures and, for many years, lacking even the telephone (invented in 1876).

The campaign began with the 1848 Seneca Falls convention, at which Frederick Douglass was the only man to express support. Through a world pandemic, a civil and world war, numerous failed state campaigns, court battles and petitions to Congress, it culminated in marches and protests (which resulted in some arrests, imprisonment, and force-feeding), that led to the Nineteenth Amendment:

Healing the Land

On Friday, July 16, I along with other ESTHER members went to Marinette in support of the Coalition to Save the Menominee River. This event was inspiring and allowed me to hear the stories of those who are working diligently to protect the river.

The extractive industry is a threat to wildlife, the surrounding environment, and Native communities. The extractive industry brings violence to Native communities and exacerbates the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women. Being at this event, I heard from people who are working specifically on this issue and how I can get more involved. This is my biggest passion, and it felt reaffirming hearing from people who care just as much as I do.

If we are looking for ways to better protect the environment, we need to listen to Indigenous communities such as the Menominee. Indigenous communities have been protecting and healing the land for many years. Their relationship with the land provides the best template for how we can move forward and heal the land and ourselves.

It was such an honor to witness a water blessing done by five generations of Menominee women. They mentioned how in their community, women are the water protectors. Women have a sacred connection with the water as the womb holds life-giving water. That relationship with the water is so beautiful and is just one of the many reasons why the Menominee River needs to be protected.

Kayla Nessmann

ESTHER Communications Coordinator

June 12 MMIWG2S Billboards for Change Rally Video

MMIWG2S Billboard Rally Video Now Available

On morning of June 12, ESTHER, in collaboration with the Native Justice Coalition and Waking Women Healing Institute, sponsored a rally at the Urban Evolutions store on West College Avenue in Appleton. The purposes of the rally were 1) to draw attention to the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women, girls and two-spirits in Wisconsin and the nation, and 2) to dedicate a new billboard placed nearby. About fifty people attended, and the event drew media attention from WBAY TV in Green Bay and Appleton radio.

The rally was streamed live on Facebook. If you did not attend, or would like to experience the program again, click on the image to watch the recorded video on Facebook. (This video is publicly visible; you do not need a Facebook account to watch it. The program starts about 10 minutes in, so you may want to fast-forward to that point.)

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: