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Community celebrates Tamir Rice 5 years after his death

Posted at 10:56 PM, Nov 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-20 23:21:03-05

CLEVELAND — It was a celebration of life, love and action.

"We have the power to transform a grave injustice into something that will stand for a world where all of our lives will finally matter," said Black Lives Matter co-founder Opal Tometi.

Trailblazers from across the country and in Northeast Ohio joined together to mourn the death of Tamir Rice nearly five years later.

"I was thrust into this life, and it was not a life that I chose, this is God's plan," said Tamir's mom, Samaria Rice.

Tamir, 12, was shot and killed by Cleveland Police officer Timothy Loehmann while playing with a toy gun in a park.

Rice is still broken.

"It has not been easy being in a society where humanity is our last consideration," she said.

Nowadays Rice puts much of her energy into police reform.

"I'm in these rooms where I was never apart of these rooms before and hey I'm here to make it uncomfortable because we need some change," she said.

Now she is adding something else to the list, The Tamir Rice Afrocentric Cultural Center. She calls it her new baby.

"Where I put all of my nurturing that I had for Tamir, I put it all in there," said Rice.

The Tamir Rice Foundation has some really big plans for this cultural center. They want to put in a music studio and an art station, and they want the community to help make this big dream a reality.

"Tonight our goal is to raise $20,000 in order to begin construction," said Tometi.

Rice took News 5 to the building in the 6000 block of St. Clair Avenue last year when she bought it. The rooms were empty and a bit run down, but now there's a vision and there's a plan for each room.

RELATED: Mother of Tamir Rice to bring arts and cultural center into same community her son was killed

Tamir's spirit will live on through this community, the center and his mother who still hasn't given up.

"I am a woman, I am a mother and I am an activist for change," said Samaria.