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Madison Action Day 2023

Posted in
Thursday, April 27, 2023 (All day)
State Capitol, Madison

Latest news for Madison Action Day 2023

BREAKING NEWS!!  This is the link to the booklet that outlines our values and recommendations for the state budget.  It is called Building the Beloved Community:   WISDOM Priorities for 2023-25. We will use this to prepare for our visits and leave a copy with each of our legislators.  Review the information and share with others.  And if you haven't already, be sure to register for Madison Action Day! 

Ride and Rally for Reform!

Ride . . . . .     the bus to Madison
Rally . . . . .    on the Capitol Steps
Relay . . . . .   your views and values to your legislators
Reignite . . .   your fire for justice!

Register Now: MAD2023 Registration cost is $25, + optional t-shirt order is $10.  Your bus ride is free!

We will gather at the Wisconsin Masonic Center, 301 Wisconsin Ave, Madison at 9:00 am and then make our way together to the Wisconsin State Capitol Building. Event in Madison ends at 3 pm.

We still need more participants from the Fox Valley.  We have yet to fill our bus which can seat 48 people.

Let's come together, show up in Madison to share our values and budget priorities with our legislators.  We will be making recommendations regarding more funding for TAD, Driver's Licenses for undocumented residents, funding for lead abatement and expanding Badger Care. The morning plenary includes speakers to renew our energy and focus as we hear about costly reconciliation, radical inclusion, living for the seventh generation, and Brothertown. 

ESTHER is planning a zoom meeting on Wednesday, April 19 at 7:00 to help organize our district meetings. Zoom link is here This meeting will help us identify speaking roles in each legislative district and explain our budget recommendations that we will share with legislators. 

Questions:  Call the ESTHER office at 920-843-8083  or email at

Earth Day Rally & March and Lawrence University Earthfest

Saturday, April 22, 2023 - 11:30am - 4:00pm
Houdini Plaza: 111 W. College Avenue, Appleton and Lawrence University

Bring an earth related sign for the rally.  There will be many signs available also for your use. A very special fun feature at Lawrence University is Porky's Groove Machine will be performing from 1-2.

"On earth day we come together to speak with one voice.  We celebrate the Earth's gifts and draw attention to the work that needs to be done."  Terry Dawson, one of the event's organizers and chair of ESTHER's Environmental Justice Task Force.
These earth day activities will be held rain or shine.

Black History Month events

Posted in
Wednesday, February 1, 2023 - 8:00am - Tuesday, February 28, 2023 - 8:00pm
Various venues in Fox Cities
Here are some area celebrations of Black History Month. Not a complete listing. . . but a good start.  Please continue to do additional searches. Some have already passed, but there remain many for you can explore.
African Heritage Presents:
Saturday Feb 11, 2023, 11 am - 2 pm, Black History Program, 
Fox Valley Technical College, 835 Bluemound Drive, Appleton Campus Door is C190ACB, Door 15
more info here.  
Movie Screening: 11:30 The Exchange of white America--Kaukauna & King: 50 Years Later
Soul Food Lunch; Keynote Address-12:30 pm
Also features “A Stone of Hope: Black Experiences in the Fox Cities” travelling museum.
Feb 25  Black History and Afro Hair Fair hosted by People of Progression  Admission and more info  here
10 am - 4 pm, Poplar Hall 141 Riverhealth Way. This event is an opportunity to increase access to education for blended or adoptee families, shelters, group homes, local salons and cosmetology students on proper care for 2c-4c hair types.
Appleton Area School District, collaborating with other organizations is hosting celebrations of Black History
Month.  See details here
UW-O has many events throughout the month of February. Their motto this year is “More than Words” You can find their calendar of events  here
 here is a short 5 minute video from UW0 website:“The True History of Black History Month”, from The Herald TV

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

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" 

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.