The Beverly Carter Foundation x The CE Shop for REALTOR® Safety Month
To create awareness surrounding REALTOR® Safety Month this September, we’ve teamed up with the Beverly Carter Foundation and asked their founder, Carl Carter, Jr. to tell us his mom's story and how his foundation helps countless agents stay safe while on the job.
5 Years Later: Perspectives from an Impassioned Co-Victim
08/27/2019 – by Carl L. Carter, Jr.
At 6:00PM on September 25, 2014, my family’s trajectory was forever changed. It was on that day that my mama, REALTOR® Beverly Carter was kidnapped and murdered. Over the past five years since mom’s murder, I’ve channeled the widest range of emotions (from the deepest anxiety and depression to the love and compassion of so many) into a passion that drives positive change in the personal safety of real estate agents and other lone workers.
I’d be remiss not to acknowledge the personal challenges along the way. The unending nightmares involving my mother’s abduction and murder, the sinking realizations that I cannot pick up the phone to tell my mom the smallest details from my day, and countless online bullies and stalkers have been pure hell at times. I was raised in a Christian home and have always considered myself strong in my faith. However, my faith, or at least my view of prayer, has been so deeply impacted. It hasn’t caused me to doubt the existence of God, but it’s certainly caused me to question the types of prayers I send up and their effectiveness or appropriateness, at the very least. If my fervent prayers, and those of thousands of people, weren’t enough to save my mom, then it seems ridiculous to pray for better weather or other trivial requests.
The fact that my mother’s kidnapping, search, murder, and judicial processes played out in such a public way have brought the oddest elements to our lives that one could never prepare for. To this day, I’m approached at the grocery store by very kind strangers offering hugs and words of comfort. Most people within the real estate industry have heard of my mom, and it is comforting to meet people all over North America that tell me about their thoughts and prayers. Almost every day I meet amazing people who, unknowingly, have been on this journey with my family all along.
When I first started speaking out, it was an attempt to combat my mother’s culprit. Being a high-profiled criminal in America provides an unnecessary mouthpiece for the media to gobble up. I felt I needed to speak up to protect her name and legacy. From there, one thing led to another, and soon, I was speaking before thousands of agents about the ways they could prevent future crimes like the one my mother experienced.
In January 2017, I decided to take the conversation to the forefront of the nonprofit world. That is how the Beverly Carter Foundation (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to real estate agent safety) was born. Today, we have conducted 85 instructor-led training sessions spanning 32 states, the District of Columbia, and two Canadian provinces. These instructor-led sessions have so graciously been attended by over 10,000 real estate professionals. We extend our impact through the safety video library and downloadable resources available on our website: BeverlyCarterFoundation.org. Almost every day since her murder, I’ve dedicated my life to making agents aware of what they can do to stay out of harm’s way. I don’t admit this sacrifice seeking accolades, but rather to show the depth of my commitment and gratitude to my family and friends, especially my wife, Kim.
I’m not certain what the future of the Beverly Carter Foundation holds, but I’m certain that even if we ceased operations today, we’ve already made a tremendous impact. However, through current partnerships with real estate boards & associations, and industry powerhouses like SentriLock, Stewart Title, HomeActions, Stellar MLS, and The CE Shop our future looks very bright. We have a Board of Directors that consists of a diverse collection of industry experts each possessing a deep connection and passion for the personal safety of others. While our dreams are slow to be achieved with our current funding and volunteer-based structure, we are making tremendous progress. And I believe wholeheartedly we’re saving lives.
“All it took was one appointment with a pair of criminals on the other end of the deal and I never got to see my mama again - we cannot let this happen to anyone else” has become my safety warning when asked by reporters if there’s anything else I’d like to add to an interview. As hard as it is for me emotionally to deliver the often-requested keynote on my mom’s death, I always smile on the title slide. It features her beautiful photograph and always prompts me to say, “Hi mama, I get to share you with this group today. I love you more today than ever.”
You can learn more about the Beverly Carter Foundation and what you can contribute to their agent safety initiatives by visiting BeverlyCarterFoundation.org.