Amarr Murphy-Paine: Honoring One of Our Own


As a close-knit chosen family, it is with great sadness that we write this section – saying goodbye to one of our own, way too soon. In the early afternoon of June 6th, 17-year-old M.U.S.T. Mentee Amarr Murphy-Paine was shot and killed while trying to break up a fight outside of his high school. Amarr was a stand-out young man with a vibrant spirit and a contagious smile. His unwavering kindness touched countless lives. He embodied resilience, courage and boundless optimism with big dreams that he no doubt would have reached and exceeded.

Amarr was an excellent student who prioritized his studies and was looking forward to his senior year and going to college. He was also a proud Garfield Bulldog playing linebacker and defensive end on the varsity football squad. In addition to his school achievements, Amarr was passionate about creating music, in which he shared with his father.

Amarr played so many important roles in his short life – loving brother, obedient son, devoted friend and an outstanding M.U.S.T. Mentee, he will be missed beyond measure.

The M.U.S.T. community is in mourning over the loss of Amarr – enraged that another Black life has been needlessly taken from his family, his friends, and his future. With Amarr’s death, we are reminded yet again of the immense work that still needs to be done, and we acknowledge the reality of why we do what we do at M.U.S.T. – Provide a space for Black males to liberate themselves through mentoring. As part of the M.U.S.T. community, young Black males like Amarr are given the tools, knowledge and support to become empowered. They are provided opportunities to learn about their world and develop plans for their futures. They are held up by their peers, guided by their Mentors and supported by their community as they discover their unique paths in life. Amarr was taken from us much too soon. There is no doubt he was on his way to do great things, and though his absence will be felt deeply, his memory will embolden the M.U.S.T. mission as we continue to strive for a more perfect world.

“As his Mentor, we bonded from the very beginning. Our time together was … joyous. Full of jokes and laughter, often comparing music taste, sports and the many similarities that we shared. One thing I took very seriously as Amarr’s Mentor was providing experiences. If there was a place he had never, been I wanted to take him to experience it for the first time, snowboarding, a radio interview, specific restaurants. We had a great time together and he will be extremely missed.”

~ Aaron Pitts, Amarr’s M.U.S.T. Mentor

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