Metro Detroit mother honoring victims of gun violence with strolling memorial at Palmer Park

Posted at 5:23 PM, Apr 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-13 18:10:43-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — A metro Detroit mom will be celebrating her daughter’s birthday with others who have walked in her shoes as a parent who has lost a child to gun violence.

Now, she is organizing a strolling memorial for the living victims to honor their loved ones who are no longer here.

7 Action News Reporter Andrea Isom met up with the metro Detroit mother to talk about the reasons why this event is a must.

In October of 2016, 15-year-old Jada Rankin was murdered. Her life was stolen by a man who was speeding during a family gathering at Jada’s grandmother’s home.

“My son asked him to slow down and the driver shot one bullet in a crowd of 20 people and Jada was shot in her torso, and one bullet struck and killed her,” said Tawanna Rankin, Jada’s mother.

April 25 is Jada’s 20th birthday. On that day, Tawanna, along with other neighborhood organizations, will be hosting a strolling memorial. It will be filled with photographs of victims of gun violence, cases that have been solved like Jada’s and those who are still waiting for justice.

“We are looking to do 100 loved ones," Tawanna said. "All that we need is a picture and their name."

And their images can be displayed with the honor and dignity they deserved.

“The public, the world would still be able to honor their child,” Tawanna said.

Or anyone they love and have lost to gun violence.

“Maybe it was something they heard or something they’ve seen," Tawanna said with hope in her heart. "If you still see it, it’s still on your mind."

If you would like your loved one's name and picture displayed in the Strolling Memorial, send a photo along with their name to as soon as possible.

The Strolling Memorial will be held April 25 at Palmer Park, 910 Merrill Plaisance St., from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.