Learn and celebrate ways local organizations or people are making a difference in Norman!
Going the Extra Mile, Rain or Shine – Community and Public Service in Action
The City of Norman Police Department has coordinated a series of community engagement initiatives. This article highlights the event which took place at Emerald Green Apartments on July 7, 2021.
NPD hosted the event at Emerald Greens where OU PD, members of its Civilian Police Academy, City Councilman Steve Holman and other leaders participated as well. Three points you should know which made this event special are:
1) It was raining, not just a light sprinkle. The rain was down for a good portion of the event in a way only Oklahoma weather knows how to perfectly time its appearance!
2) The smiles and engagement didn’t stop. There was so much enthusiasm by the police departments present and all the volunteers. During the event, officers were throwing the football with kiddos and even kids at heart! Kids showed off bike skills like as if they were showcasing to their aunts and uncles.
3) The food ran out and officers quickly sprung to action by making a run for more! Yes! Even on the most unlikely weather of days, community members responded with great attendance and participation. There were so many, “thank you,” comments to some humbling comments of, “really, this is for us?” They didn’t just grab their food and go. The Norman Police Department and those volunteering truly built relationships at this event.
Two personal stories are, a lady who shared she moved from North Carolina some months back said she loves living in Norman. The other was from a woman who said she was so grateful for the Norman Police Department taking time for this event and for always being available. One could sense the comfort level of the residents at Emerald Greens.
This was truly a great success for community engagement. Thank you, Norman Police Department, volunteers, and Emerald Greens residents!
Juneteenth Event Recap
The 2021 Juneteenth Festival held on Saturday, June 19, 2021 at Reaves Park was a true success all-around!
An estimated 500 people attended this special event. The run of show included opening remarks by Dr. George Henderson and his wife, Mrs. Barbara Henderson. The Hendersons are community icons and Norman’s first Black homeowners. A reading of the City of Norman’s Mayoral Proclamation naming June 19, 2021 as Juneteenth Day also took place. We shared words of truth, unity, hope, and commitment to an inclusive community for all Norman residents.
Thanks to our partners, who helped make this event a success!
- Norman Parks and Recreation
- Norman Police Department
- Norman Fire Department
- Norman Regional Health System
- Jamee Salley’s Frisbee Dog Show
- Pastor Gaines of Missionary Baptist
- The Hendersons
- BOLD Multimedia
- OU Black Student Association
- OU Black Graduate Student Association
- Men United of Norman
Many spectators shared lots of positive commentary throughout the event. Ms. Lillian, a Black woman and retired military who currently lives in Lawton, OK shared she searched online for Juneteenth events. When she read about Norman’s event she hopped in her car to attend and was glad she did! Another vendor felt impressed with how beautiful the event was. Throughout the event, one could see people overjoyed and some even moved to tears by the event.
This event was meaningful to the Black community and serves all others as well as it provided opportunities for understanding, impacting far beyond our city and bridging racial divides.
This year’s festival placed a positive historic mark for the City of Norman as the first city-sponsored Juneteenth event! That significant support built-on last year’s first Juneteenth event created a robust outcome. The reasons to be proud are many.
Hitting the inclusive mark means a space of belonging has been created. The City of Norman met this mark with the 2021 Juneteenth Festival! Good results all around!