Gwen Carr

 As the 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 who was murdered by the New York Police in July of 2014. Because the incident was captured on a cell phone video and posted online, his death has played an integral part in raising awareness about the issue of police brutality in the United States, particularly for the black community. Gwendolyn Carr’s story began in South Brooklyn where she lived most of her life and raised her family. A longtime employee of both the United States Postal Service and New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, she had planned to retire before the tragedy occurred. Now Mrs. Carr has become an activist, determined to hold the city accountable for the shocking treatment of her son. With three children, fifteen grandchildren, and six great- grandchildren, she represents the voice of several generations, all of whom have suffered greatly from the loss of their beloved Eric. To assist with the healing of others, the non-profit organization The Garnerway Foundation was established. Within the foundation, Mrs. Carr facilitates the program titled “This Stops Today” which provides ongoing support and education to the ever-growing number of victims of violence and to the families suffering with tragedy and loss. The name of the program comes from her own son’s words. Immediately before his death, Eric Garner said to the police, “this stops today,” to express his frustration with their constant profiling and harassment. 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 justice, and she will forever remain stridently dedicated to the cause. Learn more about her mission at