MPR's Ground Level recently held a group conversation in Eden Prairie to discuss how people feel about their suburban community — what they like about living there and what they'd like to change.
Much of the conversation centered around schools, with many educators in the crowd ready to share their insights. Teachers and parents alike were able to point out key differences between how they grew up and the experiences their children are having now.
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"I'm a biracial guy, and so I was the only student of color most of my life," Tim Beekmann, principal at Eden Lake Elementary, said. "That was the same when I started teaching here."
But gradually, the student body became more diverse, and all of those students ended up in his classroom — "because they looked like Mr. Beekmann," he said.
Although that was great, he said, he wanted to make sure the students learned from all the teachers.
"What I've seen over the years as our community becomes more diverse racially and culturally it's just made us richer for it," Beakman said.
But there's more progress to be made.
"As a community and a whole, you have a wide variety of economic backgrounds," one woman said. "And to be able to even that playing field ... That would be the change, and I believe as a society we can."
Listen to the discussion by clicking the audio player above.