go here It’s hard to believe that another Shakopee Diversity Alliance International Festival has come and gone. In fact, three international festivals have been held in the past three years.


In 2012, the participants in the city’s first-ever Diversity Summit, including myself, only dreamed of having an event like this. Look at us now. We, meaning not just the SDA, but Shakopee as a community, have come a long way, and the journey will continue.

source site On July 31 during the festival, the outdoor amphitheater seats and grassy areas surrounding the stage at Huber Park were filled with festival-goers enjoying the multicultural entertainment. Hundreds of guests also visited the booths that dotted the park to shop, gain information, and learn about various cultures, including Latino, East Indian, Somali, Russian and Ukrainian.

go site From my vantage point on stage, it was a wondrous sight to see. It was an entire community of people of all ages from all walks of life coming together to learn, share and celebrate each one another. It reminded me of a quote I once read that said, “Diversity is not about how we differ. Diversity is about embracing one another’s uniqueness.” That is exactly what I saw that day, and what the SDA and the international festival are all about.

On behalf of the SDA, we would like to thank everyone who supported and attended the festival. We also thank Shakopee Derby Days for continuing to have us be a part of its celebration and providing us with a venue, professional sound system and other necessities. We are grateful for our sponsors — Canterbury Park, Emerson Process Management, Shakopee Community Education, St. Francis Regional Medical Center, Shakopee Rotary and Shakopee Lions. Thanks also to Nick Mabee Design for recording the event for free; Wil Galvez Photography for taking photos; DeeDee Currier of Shakopee Community Education for being our stage manager; Mollie Galvez for singing the national anthem so beautifully; our phenomenal performers, vendors and others who manned booths; and all of the hard-working volunteers. The festival was again a singular success because of the contributions of so many.

For the past three years, it has been my honor to coordinate the festival’s on-stage entertainment and serve as an emcee. This was my last year to do this. It’s now time for me to pass the proverbial baton to one of our young SDA members, Denis Petrenko, who is also a member of the Slavic Baptist Church in Shakopee. He and several members of his church’s youth group have provided Russian and Ukrainian cultural booths at the festival for the past two years. Denis has eagerly stepped up to take on this new role in the SDA. I’m sure he will do an outstanding job and with his enthusiasm, vision and new ideas, take the event onto the next level.

source site Besides the Slavic Baptist Church’s youth group, there were also other young Shakopee residents who helped make the festival a success, like Josh Gampson, Brenda Castenada, Kamala Nair, Namita Nair, Keerthi Karri and the members of Bollywood Groves — Tanya Sinha, Disha Kumar and Alisha Relan — all of whom performed on stage. There were also many youngsters who volunteered in numerous capacities. Shakopee is fortunate to have such marvelous young people who get involved and use their passions, energy, knowledge, talents and skills in positive ways to make Shakopee an even better place. We, in the SDA, hope more of Shakopee’s youth will volunteer and move our community forward through the international festival and other SDA endeavors.

http://apt-online.ch/?phd-thesis-artificial-neural-networks phd thesis artificial neural networks Yes, we have come a long way but our journey is not over. There are still plenty of matters to discuss, concerns to address, needs to be met, connections to make, events to plan, projects to organize, and much more work to be done. But if what we have witnessed thus far is a mere glimpse of our youth’s abilities, commitment and willingness to serve, and I believe it is, then with their help the SDA, the international festival and our wonderfully diverse community are sure to grow and flourish for many years to come.

Cristina Oxtra is one of the founders of the Shakopee Diversity Alliance. She is the district director of the Shakopee Public Schools’ AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) college readiness program and the founder of her own scholarship program, the Kaleidoscope Scholarship, which helps minority Shakopee High School students in need obtain a college education. The SDA is a 501c3 non-profit organization. To learn about the SDA, visitshakopeedoversityalliance.org, Facebook and Twitter.