UPDATED 4/6/2012 with more video from the summit
What a great night!
Realistically, I was thinking we’d have 30 or possible 40 people attend our first ever Shakopee Diversity Summit held tonight at Shakopee City Hall. On the overly optimistic side, we planned for 75 people to come and help us begin a conversation about diversity in Shakopee.
Shakopee has grown by over 80% in the past 12 years. Now more than 1 in 4 Shakopee residents are not white. Tonight’s meeting was beginning to recognize and organize around that fact. We need to not only make sure our city looks like our residents but that all of the voices are being heard.
Folks of all walks of life began showing up at about 5:50 and then right before 6, they started pouring in from the rain. Shakopee residents from Guyana, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia and all over the world. We also had a great range of ages as well, many youth spoke eloquently on respecting diversity and dealing with difficult situations.
The first 1/2 hour was a Meet & Greet where people were encouraged to say hello to people they had never met before. Then we had a panel of speakers give quick introductions about their culture and personal experiences.
The really fun part came next when we broke into small groups and everyone discussed their past, present and future. So many great conversations were had during this short amount of time. The remainder of our time together was spent discussing what we do next and how we move forward to further promote our diversity.
Some folks stepped forward to be part of a task force. We aren’t sure yet what the goals will be, but if you would like to be involved, please email me at email@example.com and I’ll make sure you get the information. On Continue Reading →