Rice hopes The Tamir Rice Afrocentric Cultural Center will provide a space where the city’s youth can be mentored while also teaching them how to critically participate in America’s political systems. Rice honed this after the death of her 12-year-old son at the hands of Cleveland police.
“(Tamir’s death) has awakened a creative energy in her,” Amanda King, founder of the Shooting Without Bullets organization and consultant of the Tamir Rice foundation said in regards to the mother’s new-found path. “It really is a new life and a new career.”
Rice spoke about this determination, telling reporters at Cleveland.com she doesn’t pay attention to the negativity she receives. “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.”
Samaria Rice describes the eventual safe haven as a “gift” to her son, which seems fitting as she plans to throw him a “Sweet Sixteen” birthday party on Jun. 14. Using several artists and performers to help her raise the $21,000 needed to renovate the building that will eventually house the Tamir Rice Afrocentric Cultural Center.
This only adds to the incredible work Rice has been doing in her son’s name since the Tamir Rice Foundation was created in 2016.