Samaria Rice, mother of the late 12-year-old Tamir Rice, is making sure her son’s legacy lives on in their hometown of Cleveland, OH. In 2019, Ms. Rice plans to open the Tamir Rice Afrocentric Cultural Center.
“I’m a nurturer and I still had some nurturing to do for Tamir but I was robbed of that,” Ms. Rice told The Root. “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 has already purchased the building that will house the center, which costed $162,680, with her $6 million settlement from the wrongful death suit against the city and two officers that shot the pre-teen in 2012 after mistaking him for being armed.
During Tamir’s short life, Ms. Rice kept him involved in recreational activities at the Ohio Guidestone. She saw how that center helped to foster his social skills and emotional development and wants to do the same for the children of the inner-city in which she resides.
On June 14th, she will host a Sweet Sixteen party at the Cleveland Museum for Art for what would have been her son’s 16th birthday to raise money to renovate the cultural center’s space. Ms. Rice hopes to raise $21,000.
Ms. Rice hopes that the cultural center will help to mentor the youth and keep them out of harm’s way.
“That’s why I’ve got to channel my stuff to the youth because they’re going to be our future. I may not see it in my lifetime, but the center will make sure it gets done, that’s for sure.”
If you would like to attend Tamir’s Sweet Sixteen or donate, visit their Eventbrite page here.