Gwendolyn Carr is a mother, advocate, and community leader.
As matriarch of one of Staten Island's largest African-American families, Gwendolyn Carr has earned nationwide recognition as the mother of the late Eric Garner—an African-American man murdered by the New York City Police Department in July, 2014. Caught on camera, his death played an integral role in the ongoing conversation about police brutality in the United States.
Gwendolyn’s story begins in South Brooklyn, where she lived most of her life. A longtime employee of both the United States Postal Service and New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Mrs. Carr is taking the city in which she raised her family to task by advocating for justice. Not only her own, but for all families. With 3 children, 15 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren, she voices several generations, all of whom suffer at the loss of Eric and grieve for mothers of victims who have not received extensive media coverage.
As a conduit of healing, the nonprofit organization “The Garnerway Foundation” has been established. Within the foundation, Mrs. Carr facilitates the program This Stops Today which provides ongoing support and education to victims of violence and to families who are suffering tragedy and loss through similar acts of violence. Immediately before his death Eric said, “this stops today” to express frustration at being profiled and harassed for seemingly minor infractions. This program named for this phrase offers a safe space for program participants to convey their stories of pain, disappointment, and despair.
As the legal proceedings continue in the case of her son, Gwen Carr’s maternal sensibilities will not allow a moment’s pause in the fight for accountability at the hands of lawmakers, and she will forever remain stridently dedicated to the cause.