About SDA

our history


Founded in

Ethnic Boom and Shakopee’s First Diversity Summit

 In 1996, Highway 169 was relocated and reconstructed to  connect Shakopee to the greater Twin Cities Metro Area. The new freeway and robust housing boom in the 1990’s, brought significant growth to the city. This growth brought an ethnic boom to the area by attracting more culturally and religiously diverse residents  to Shakopee. In 1990, Shakopee was 97% white and this quickly changed to 90% white in 2000. By 2010, the Census found that only 74% of Shakopee‘s residents were white.
In 2011, Shakopee mayoral candidate, Brad Tabke, noticed that many in Shakopee‘s diverse community were  experiencing  barriers to accessing city services. In 2012, Brad Tabke, reached office in part on a pledge to break down cultural barriers our communities of color were experiencing. On March 22nd, 2012, the newly elected Mayor hosted Shakopee‘s first ever Diversity Summit at Shakopee City Hall.
Those in attendance included community  leaders, Shakopee School District staff, Shakopee High School LEAD (Leaders in Education and Diversity) members, and city staff. The Diversity Summit was held to seek new ways to reach the city’s diverse population, help improve communication, foster positive relationships, and make the community more welcoming to all residents. More than 140 people attended the summit. Following the Diversity Summit, a group of community members gathered and founded the Shakopee Diversity Alliance (SDA), community members were: Brad Tabke, Mary Hernandez, Angelica Contreras, Ibrahim Mohamed, Cristina Oxtra, Terry Hassan, Tamara Severtson, Lupita Morales, Yuni Montoya, Jay Whiting, Lloyd Erbaugh, Donna Lane, Bob Greeley, Mary Romansky, and Patrick Simmons. In 2015, Shakopee Diversity Alliance officially became a 501(C)(3) organization.

“I decided to cofound Shakopee Diversity Alliance because we were tired of being told we don’t belong here. Shakopee is really close to my heart because it’s my children’s birth place and it’s home to all the students and families I’ve worked with in the district. This is where our roots are. We love Shakopee just as much as any other saber. Diversity is the strength of this city.” 

Mary Hernandez

Co founder of the Shakopee Diversity Alliance

Shakopee Diversity Alliance