Juneteenth Organizers Praised for Post-Event Recycling Effort

From left, Danielle Wood-Williams, Juneteenth co-chair; Gary Enzor, recycling coordinator; J'onnelle Colbert-Diaz, Juneteenth co-chair.
By Misty McCoy

From left, Danielle Wood-Williams, Juneteenth co-chair; Gary Enzor, recycling coordinator; J'onnelle Colbert-Diaz, Juneteenth co-chair.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – This year’s Juneteenth Celebration brought about 600 people to The Gardens at the U of A on June 17, for an afternoon and evening of family fun.

The successful event was organized by the U of A African American Resource Group and the Northwest Arkansas Juneteenth Celebration Committee, and was held on campus for the first time.

The organizers knew that any successful event like this would generate a certain amount of waste and recyclable material — the more people, the better the event, the more waste and recyclable items left to clean up.  

The planners had a plan. When the celebration was over, the volunteers and the committee made a concerted effort to ensure the grounds were free of discarded waste.

“We always want to leave a place looking at least as nice as it did before we arrived – that’s the way we do things,” said Danielle Wood-Williams, co-chair of the Celebration Committee. “This was the first time we held Juneteenth on campus in many years and we made an extra effort to keep the grounds clean.”

“We wanted to be invited back next year,” joked co-chair J’onnelle Colbert-Diaz.

Not only was all the waste cleaned up – all of the recycling was collected and sorted as well. The effort was noticed and very much appreciated.

“It was the best job I’ve seen by a group in my 25 years on campus,” said Gary Enzor, the U of A recycling coordinator. “The Juneteenth folks had three large bags of cans and bottles that were already tied up, stored behind the locked gate, ready to go. That’s twice the average and they did all the work of gathering, consolidating and bagging. They also broke down and saved all their cardboard.  No other group has ever helped our recycling effort to this extent at an outdoor special event at The Gardens.”

When Enzor told his bosses in facilities management he also suggested doing something to recognize this environmental commitment.

Keith Roberts, director of facilities operations and maintenance and Avery Minor, director of building services, liked the idea.

On Thursday, July 20 the Juneteenth Committee members were invited to the Facilities Management building to receive a plaque expressing thanks and praising the group for setting a standard for everyone who uses U of A facilities. 

Juneteenth began as a day to commemorate the official end of slavery in the United States on June 19th, 1865. It has grown into a celebration of African American freedom and achievement that encourages self-development and respect for all cultures.

Members of the Juneteenth committee include: co-chairs J’onnelle Colbert-Diaz and Danielle Wood-Williams; Misty McCoy; Erica Holliday; Steve Gahagans; Takama Statton-Brooks; Roger Brooks; Jeff Fleming; Anthony Ball; Cedric Kenner; Shanta Potter; Avery Minor; and Baravik Wagner-Jones.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

Contacts

Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
University Relations
479-575-3583, voorhies@uark.edu


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