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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 events!

  • To learn more about a particular event, click on its title
  • To see the complete ESTHER calendar, click on 'more' at the bottom right of the listing
Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 6:00pm ESTHER Transit Task Force First United Methodist Church, Appleton
Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 4:00pm Executive Committee Meeting ESTHER Office, Neenah
Saturday, December 2, 2017 - 7:00pm Shared Sanctuary Benefit Concert Fox Valley UU Fellowship, 2600 E. Philip Lane, Appleton
Monday, December 4, 2017 - 6:00pm ESTHER Prison Reform Task Force St. Mark's Lutheran Church, Neenah
Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - 4:00pm Oshkosh ESTHER b'nai Israel, Oshkosh

Seeking Your Thoughts on ESTHER

Japanese lanternsMy Thoughts on ESTHER

The ESTHER Board is looking to develop a strategic plan to guide our work for the next few years. In this planning process, we want to hear from all our ESTHER members, supporters, donors, and friends. Your voice and your work are what make ESTHER possible.

One thing that would really help us is to hear about what you see as the strengths and weaknesses of ESTHER as an organization. If you haven't already responded to a prior request, would you take a few minutes to share your perspective with us? We would really appreciate it. We’ve prepared a short survey (six open-ended questions and four multiple-choice ones) and invite you to respond by clicking the button below.

This survey is being conducted anonymously, and the results (aggregated) will be shared only with the ESTHER Board.

If you haven't already responded, just click the button below to take the survey. Thanks!

My thoughts on ESTHER

 

2017 Banquet a Rousing Success

Posted in

2017 Banquet Crowd - image by Mark RiceOver 225 people—a full house—gathered at Liberty Hall last Sunday evening for ESTHER’s 13th annual banquet. The sprit in the room was amazing. ESTHER recognized Kris Clouthier for her exceptional, sustained efforts in sharing Latino/a stories through ESTHER’s Latino simulation, Walk in Our Shoes, as well as the “Voices of Hope” readers theatre. Bob Pedersen, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries North Central Wisconsin, was honored for his creative, energetic, and people-focused leadership of this truly transformative organization in the Fox Valley.

Keynote speaker Glenn E. Martin shared from the heart and the head in challenging America's addiction to dehumanizing punishment, not only in prisons but throughout our culture: “70 million people in the United States have a criminal record. You can't criminalize 70 million people unless you dehumanize them first.”

It was great to be joined by many who were attending an ESTHER banquet for the first time. We especially enjoyed being joined by members of ExPO (Ex‑Prisoners Organizing) from the Fox Valley and throughout the state, as well as representatives from JOSHUA, RUTH, WISDOM and others.

If you were there, you know what a great evening it was. If you missed it this year, do plan to join us in 2018!

13th (A Documentary Film)

Date: 
Friday, November 10, 2017 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: 
First Congregational UCC, Appleton, Children, Youth & Family Center

13th Poster13th, a thought-provoking 2016 documentary by director Ava DuVernay, explores the intersection of race, justice and mass incarceration in the United States.First Congo Logo It is titled after the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, which freed slaves and prohibited slavery (unless as a punishment for a crime). In the film, scholars, activists and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom. The screening is co-sponsored by First Congregational UCC, Appleton, and ESTHER. Open to the public, and free of charge.

Shared Sanctuary Benefit Concert

Date: 
Saturday, December 2, 2017 - 7:00pm
Location: 
Fox Valley UU Fellowship, 2600 E. Philip Lane, Appleton

John McCutcheonFeaturing Singer-songwriter John McCutcheon

Benefitting Shared Sanctuary Legal Fund

Suggested donation: $20

The Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship recently voted to become a sanctuary congregation, willing to house someone who is in immediate danger of being deported. All donations for this concert benefit The Fellowship’s Shared Sanctuary Legal Fund, which assists families or individuals who need representation when facing deportation.

Wisconsin native John McCutcheon is a master instrumentalist, a powerful singer-songwriter,  and a gifted story-teller. Watching John, his audiences can feel and share his passion for three things: people, justice, and the joyful celebration of making music.

Doors open at 6:30. Opening act: Cris and Ann Plata, sharing Mexican roots music.

Help spread the word: Download flyer (below) and share!

Sponsored by

Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Winnebago Worship Group
Religious Society of Friends (Quaker) of the Fox Valley

ESTHER

Green Apple Folk Music Society

 

"Under the Tent" Annual Interfaith Event

Date: 
Sunday, August 6, 2017 - 3:00pm - 5:30pm
Location: 
Fox Valley Islamic Society, 103 Kappell Drive, Neenah

FAITH & POVERTYThe Fox Valley Islamic Society is hosting its 18th annual Interfaith Gathering on Sunday, August 6 at 3:00 pm. All are invited to attend this year's event at no charge, which will once again be held "Under the Tent" at the mosque, and offers opportunities to learn, interact, and feast.

The event will feature presentations and discussion on the theme of “Faith and Poverty,” with a feast and fellowship to follow. RSVP to fvis.interfaith@gmail.com, or phone 618-203-6891.

No Back 40 Mine - Save the Menominee River: Presentation by Guy Reiter

Date: 
Thursday, June 8, 2017 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Location: 
Girl Scout Office, 4693 N Lynndale Dr, Appleton

Menominee River near proposed mine siteThe Back Forty Mine project is a proposed open-pit metallic sulfide mine located on the banks of the Menominee River in Lake Township, MI, just across the river from Marinette, WI. The Menominee Nation and many allies, including local citizens, local governments, environmental organizations, and grassroots organizations, are opposed to the mine.

Learn more about the project from Menominee Tribal Organizer Guy Reiter and Dr. Al Gedicks, Executive Secretary, Natural Resources Protection Council.

Juneteenth

Date: 
Sunday, June 11, 2017 - 12:00pm - 6:00pm
Location: 
City Park, Appleton

Juneteenth posterJuneteenth is the oldest national program commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. We are delighted that the Fox Cities is home to such a memorable freedom program.

Join ESTHER and many other community organizations based in the Fox Cities and beyond in City Park on June 11 for presentations, music, food, community spirit! Perfect for all ages. Free!

  • Health, community information, retail booths
  • Food, clothing & jewelry vendors
  • Giveaways
  • Storytelling, arts & crafts, dancing
  • Balloon-twisting
  • Inflatables

More information at http://www.africanheritageinc.org/events/juneteenth-2017/

Community Column: "Let's Fight Social Injustice in the Fox Cities"

Posted in

Bill Van Lopik, ESTHER OrganizerESTHER Organizer Bill Van Lopik has recently started a term as a Community Columnist for the Post-Crescent. In his inaugural column, which appeared on April 1 (no fooling!), he writes with passion and conviction about some “dominant narratives” that cause fear and suspicion and can blind us to the truth about our communities and our neighbors. He testifies to the power of a different approach, in which we work

… to build relationships among people from various ethnic backgrounds, economic status, race, cultures and religions. It is through these relationships that we understand that there are other stories, other realities and other narratives. It is easy to live in a bubble and only interact with people who look like us, act like us, talk like us and believe the same things we do. However, if we hope to build a community which values dignity and respect we are going to have to be a lot more curious and courageous about who we see as our neighbors.

 

Electronics Recycling Event

stuff to recycleSaturday, May 20, 8 am-12 pm
First Congregational UCC
West Parking Lot
724 East South River St., Appleton

ESTHER is sponsoring an electronics recycling event and fundraiser. Simply gather up all of the electronics, appliances, business equipment, etc. that are no longer useful to you (working or not) and drop them off at the location above. No charge except for TVs, computer monitors, fridges/freezers (see full story or flyer for details).

All Materials are kept in USA. All hard drives shredded or destroyed. Event will go on rain or shine.

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