By Vivian Shipe
KNOXVILLE, TN — Gloria Garner worked with one mission: “keeping the community in mind.”
On Saturday, Aug. 22, the city of Knoxville and her beloved community remembered the dedication of Garner by naming a street in the community in her memory.
Garner, who was 80 when she passed away in 2019, was a long-time community activist and was one of the first employees hired when the Knoxville Area Urban League started in the 60s.
A strong community activist for Lonsdale, she served as a case manager and worked tirelessly to solve social problems. Garner worked to make sure her beloved Lonsdale community could get a “piece of the pie” as she was known for saying in the community.
Garner was also a strong advocate for the NAACP and the United Negro College Fund over a span of 50 years.
Vice Mayor Gwen McKenzie, whose father Woodrow Wilson, Jr. was the first director of the Urban League, mentioned how Garner stood on the front lines with her father fighting for justice and equality.
“She loved her family, her community, and her city.” McKenzie said.