The mother of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old gunned down by police who mistook his toy gun for a real one, is honoring her son by opening up a culture center in his name.
According to Cleveland.com, Samaria Rice plans on opening The Tamir Rice Afrocentric Cultural Center in 2019 to help mentor youth, promote the arts and teach how to navigate the political system.
“I’m a nurturer and I still had some nurturing to do for Tamir but I was robbed of that…I want to see some positivity. I don’t really see a whole lot of positivity coming out of the inner city when it comes to the youth that is suffering…I want the center to give them a sense of hope.”
She told the newspaper that while her son may never grow up to be a man, she wants to make sure his legacy will never fade.
“Nobody is talking about Tamir anymore in Cleveland. And that’s sad.”
Rice also told the newspaper that the mentorship aspect of the center is one of its most important parts, especially since Tamir and his sister were part of a similar program that helped them a lot.
“That kind of helped Tamir with emotional and coping skills and social skills, which a lot of children lack in the inner city,” she said.
Surprisingly, the 41-year-old admitted that there are people who have issues with the center being opened. However, she isn’t let the naysayers stop her.
“I don’t pay no attention to them,” Rice said bluntly.
“They can’t beat me for the simple fact that their child wasn’t killed by the state. I’m going to do it through the grace of God and I’m going to do it because the city of Cleveland gave me no choice but to do it as far as building my son’s legacy and keeping his legacy alive.”
Cleveland.com noted that Rice purchased the building in March for $162,680, using part of the $6 million settlement of the wrongful death suit she’d filed against the city. And to help raise $21,000 for the center’s renovation, Rice is hosting a “Sweet Sixteen” party in June party “for the milestone her son can’t celebrate.”