Choosing a Centripetal Life in a Centrifugal Society
with Joani Essenburg and Dr. Tim Essenburg
In October 1990, Tim and Joani Essenburg, with their one-year-old, moved into the East Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis. Neighbors took bets on how long they would last. Nothing (much) in their white, upper-middle class upbringing and education prepared them for the life they encountered. The unrelenting centrifugal forces of racism, classism, and ethnocentrism became ever more apparent. Tim and Joani chose to center their lives with the centripetal force of the common good. Come hear their story, one that has forced them out of autopilot and into difficult and concerted decision making: nuclear/extended family or family as neighbors? Home as castle or wayside? School for privilege or inclusion? Culture for lived superiority or enriching appreciation? Cars for personal use only or also for common use? Conceptualizing the neighborhood as full of liabilities or assets?