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

Indigenous Resisitance to Mining in Wisconsin: Panel Discussion

Date: 
Thursday, November 11, 2021 - 7:00pm
Location: 
Zoom Meeting

From accessibility of public lands to health impacts of burning fossil fuels, examples of environmental injustice are deeply woven into each of the issues that we organize around. To examine these connections, many parts of the Sierra Club in Wisconsin are coming together to organize an Environmental Justice Event Series beginning in the fall of 2021. 

We hope that these events can provide an opportunity to explore the inequities rooted within these issues and help shine a light on the critical environmental justice components that exist in our work. Register to receive the link to the Zoom event.

Register Now

Sponsored by Grass Roots North Shore, Sierra Club Great Waters Group, Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort, Fox Valley Sierra Group, First Unitarian Society of Madison, 350 Madison Climate Action Team, Wisconsin Interfaith Power and Light, Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice, ESTHER, Peace Action of Wisconsin, Nearby Nature Milwaukee, Sierra Club Wisconsin

Standing Tall for Justice

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A peace tree was commemorated on October 18, 2021, Indigenous People’s Day, to honor the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two Spirits (MMIWG2S) of Wisconsin. Indigenous People’s Day celebrates Indigenous culture while also educating on the historical inaccuracies that have come along with Columbus Day. This event brought together many people from the Fox Valley and surrounding communities, showing support for the local Native communities of Wisconsin. The peace tree is a white pine from the Menominee Forest, generously donated by the Menominee people. This tree stands tall in our community and was planted adjacent to Ellen Kort Peace Park near the banks of the Fox River below downtown Appleton. This tree serves as a reminder of how we can better treat each other and the land.

The event was live-streamed and recorded. If you missed the live event, you can watch the recording on Facebook here.

Five-Week Introduction to Organizing Training

WISDOM is beginning a new five-week Intro to Organizing training, to be held on five consecutive Wednesday evenings (October 20 and 27, and November 3, 10 and 17), from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. To sign up, please register here:

WISDOM 5-Week Training, Oct 20 to Nov 17

There is no cost for the training, which is highly interactive. It is appropriate for people who are new to WISDOM affiliates (such as ESTHER), and to others who are curious about the WISDOM network and what it does. Some “veteran” leaders within the network have also found these trainings to be helpful – a reminder of some of the basics of our style of community organizing.

Locked Up On The Outside: Prisons Without Walls

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Date: 
Thursday, October 21, 2021 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: 
St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 140 S. Green Bay Rd, Neenah

The ESTHER Prison Reform Task Force along with EXPO will be holding this important listening session and crucial conversation with a representative of the Wisconsin Division of Community Corrections (DCC), elected officials and YOU.

Are you, or do you know someone who is or has been, on probation or parole? Do you live in fear, have anxiety that rules or attitudes could take you back to prison? Do you have thoughts on how re-entry could be improved to make people more successful on Parole or Extended Supervision?

Then please join EXPO and ESTHER at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Neenah for this important conversation regarding community corrections.

 

Student Bus Ridership in Oshkosh Exceeds All Expectations

After seven years of advocating, raising money and attending City Council meetings, our Oshkosh ESTHER Task Force successfully petitioned to allow all Oshkosh students to ride the bus for free, effective July 2020. During that first month of implementation, a total of six students rode the city bus. We were understandably concerned that, even if bus rides were free for students, they might not actually take advantage of the benefit.

We need not have worried! According to recent ridership data from Go Transit, there were 2,587 student riders in July of 2021. That is a whopping 47,516 percent incease from the previous year. For 2021 to date, there have been 38,037 student riders, as compared to 103 for the same period in 2020.

This program has proved to be a phenomenal success, exceeding all expectations. We are grateful to the Oshkosh Common Council and the Oshkosh Area School District for their efforts in making this happen.

ESTHER-Native Justice Coalition Partnership

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Native Justice Coalition LogoThe Native Justice Coalition (NJC) is an Anishanaabe-led organization that was founded in 2016. Based in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, this organization was created for Indigenous people, to provide healing and resources. One of the ways they bring healing to their communities is through story telling. Story-telling brings awareness to Native communities and puts focus on Native leaders. Too often are Native voices left out of conversations on racial justice: the NJC is working to change this.

ESTHER has recently entered into partnership with the NJC, which will further elevate Native voices. By partnering with this organization, ESTHER has the opportunity to learn from those on the frontlines of the racial, gender and environmental justice movements.

The NJC had an Anishanaabe Racial Justice Conference coming up from 9/30-10/3. Due to increasing COVID cases in their local community, this conference has been postponed to May 2022. 

For more information on the conference, visit: https://www.nativejustice.org/conference

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