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Finding My Voice: On grieving my father, Eric Garner, and pushing for Justice

By Emerald Garner,

Monet Dunham,

and Etan Thomas

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"We are the Children of the Movement who have experienced the loss of our caregivers and stand together to end police brutality and heal from its impacts."


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We Can't Breathe Inc.'s mission is to eliminate all forms of violence -

and advance health equity by healing traumatic adverse experiences through local and global education, community dialogue, and policy advocacy.


We demand This Stops Today to advocate for Not One More body lost to police violence and the punitive carceral systems established across the globe. We believe police violence is not a white vs black vs ‘blue’ argument, it is everyone standing against institutional racism collectively.


We are the Children of the Movement, a youth led and centered Justice Project building an intergenerational and intersectional movement. We hold the institutions, created to provide safety and enforce the law, accountable to the people as we disrupt the reckless reign of terror in all communities - without recourse - and the over criminalization of marginalized communities. We believe that #BlackMindsMatter and focus on mental health rooted in restorative healing while advocating for policies ‘with teeth’ to meet the needs of every person to live free from fear.

We Can’t Breathe Inc. originated in 2018 following the 2014 murder of Eric Garner by NYC police officers and subsequent fatal heart attack 3 years later in 2017 of Erica Garner, who was 27 years old when she passed from a literal broken heart. The impact of violence on the Garner family fell heavily on Emerald Snipes-Garner who, at 25 years old, assumed the care-giving responsibility of her young niece and nephew and became a single-parent of three young children. Their bright eyes and the possibilities of a bright future became Emerald’s motivation to alleviate the injustices associated with the significant trauma of police brutality.

The Justice Project

Justice Project programming provides mental health support, leadership development, and safety skills training -

to young people who have been directly impacted by violence - like Executive Director Emerald's lived experience.


This program is rooted in restorative justice practice and provides young people with opportunities to become the change they want to see in their communities, their country and their world. Youth will have the chance to learn from influencers leading in their respective industries, explore healing modalities, receive safety training and plan their personal leadership pathway.


The Justice Project Youth Professional Development Day will help provide the requisite mentorship and guidance for youth to plan for their future while gaining the knowledge and experience needed to succeed. We will also help our youth identify local resources to meet other basic needs. Furthermore, participants will have the opportunity to seek support for job readiness.


This program will provide the youth the opportunity necessary to not just identify what they are good at or love to do, but to be safe as they pursue their interests and make a sustainable living with community impact.

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Justice Programs

Hearts 4 Justice

Mental Health Support

Justice After 5

Rapid Response for Youth
During Peak Crisis Hours

Jobs 4 Justice

Pathways Towards Success

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Women-led initiative for healing after state violence

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Emerald Snipes-Garner, Founder &
Executive Director

Emerald is proud to be a vocal advocate who has worked with activists and legislators across the nation to propose legislation, educate and organize the community. Emerald’s life experience catapulted her into social activism, standing alone outside of the NY Police Department and declaring that she would never give up following her father and sister’s death. Emerald’s first official organizing position was with the National Action Network under the leadership of Reverend Al Sharpton where she co-chaired all of the National Action Network marches for Eric Garner and Erica Garner in NYC and across the nation.

Emerald’s advocacy and relationship building skills have helped to advance the mission of “We Can’t Breathe Inc” by amplifying the need for communities to remain vigilant and focused long after police violence is no longer a news headline.

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