Juanita Edwards

Juanita Edwards, a mother, grandmother, beloved friend, and organizer, died suddenly on Oct. 24. She was 62. 

A Brooklyn native, she graduated from Prospect Heights High School. She attended classes at the College of New Rochelle while pursuing her true passion, community service.

She began her career as a community organizer in 1996 at ACORN, learning from the ground up. In 2000, she began working as an organizer at Abyssinian Development Corporation in Harlem. Later, she brought her organizing skills back to Brooklyn, joining the team at Pratt Area Community Council (PACC, now known as IMPACCT Brooklyn) in 2006.

At PACC, she became the lead community organizer, and in 2014 was promoted to the director of community organizing. She helped win many victories on behalf of tenants, assisting city elected officials in getting legislation passed to protect tenants’ rights and working on campaigns such as the Real Rent Reform campaign. In 2016, she earned a Congressional commendation from Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn) for IMPACCT’s work in the community.

Edwards’ career in community organizing was not just a job for her. She often said that keeping tenants safe in their homes was what got her out of bed in the morning. 

She leaves behind her three children, Arturo Edwards, Katherine Edwards, and Reynaldo Edwards — who understood the importance of their mother’s work at an early age, and attended numerous protests and rallies with her —and eight grandchildren. She also leaves behind many friends, colleagues, and fellow tenants forever grateful for her knowledge, care, assistance and ready smile. 

There will be a Celebration of Life gathering for Juanita Edwards in August 2019. To make a donation to it, please visit bit.ly/juanita_edwards