Prior Lake hosts first anti-racism and inclusion dance jam

Saturday was the first annual Playdays Dance Jam, dedicated to promoting anti-racism and inclusiveness after several disturbing incidents. 

Late last year, two videos circulated on social media that appeared to show Prior Lake High School students making racist comments. 

The events led to an outcry across the city and prompted city council leaders to pass a resolution on diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

It also caused a group of Prior Lake parents to think of ways to create change for the next generation while healing the current one. 

"That's where we all stepped in and said, 'Hey this can be an awesome community and it always has been.' We just need people to step up and come out and make it happen and be visible," said Rickeeta Francis, who teamed up with Ashley Thomas and Charlie Sederstrom to plan the event. 

"Differences aside, we can all come together for this cause," said Thomas. 

The event was supported by the Lakers Education Foundation and local non-profit Passionately and Actively Creating Change, which was founded by Francis and Thomas. 

"It starts little by little, relationship by relationship, getting to know people's stories and from there, we continue to grow and spread the good word," said PLSAS Principal Richie Kucinski. 
The group hopes Saturday's dance jam is just the beginning and they are planning on hosting different events and initiatives in the future. 

"For once, I actually feel a part of something here and it's great," said Francis.