Tamir Rice's mother says at this year's commemoration of the 1970 shootings at Kent State University that it doesn't matter what race a person is when fighting for justice.

Samaria Rice was invited to speak at Wednesday's event, which also focuses this year on the Black Lives Matter movement that Tamir's death helped fuel.

The 12-year-old black boy was shot dead in Cleveland by a white police officer while playing with a pellet gun in November 2014. A grand jury declined to indict the officer.

Samaria Rice says racism is a disease. She says it's something people are taught and there needs to be a cure.

It was 46 years ago when Ohio National Guardsmen fired into a crowd at Kent State protesting the Vietnam war; four people were killed.