Education is #NotACrime Murals in Harlem

Franco “the Great” Gaskin’s piece promotes education equality for all people, according to the Not A Crime campaign’s website. (Photo by Kylee Tsuru via The Uptowner)

Franco “the Great” Gaskin’s piece promotes education equality for all people, according to the Not A Crime campaign’s website. (Photo by Kylee Tsuru via The Uptowner)

Nineteen murals in Harlem, painted by artists from nine countries over the course of eight months, is part of a global campaign to highlight the human rights violations committed against the Bahá’ís, the largest religious minority in Iran, reports Kylee Tsuru for The Uptowner. Using the hashtag #NotACrime, the campaign uses murals to transmit its message – promoting education equality in Iran – on the streets of Atlanta, Johannesburg, London, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney and other cities.

New York joined the list ahead of the United Nations’ 71st General Assembly, during which heads of state, including Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, will speak Sept. 20-26, .

“People from all over the world come here, so it is symbolic for us,” said Saleem Vaillancourt, the project’s coordinator, who oversaw the Harlem murals.

He added that the street art spreads awareness of the education disparity faced by the Bahá’ís to a broader, more international audience.

Bahá’í author Dr. Hussein Ahdieh, who fled Iran and now lives in the U.S. – and has a doctorate from the University of Massachusetts – said that it is not a surprise Not A Crime went with Harlem, given the parallels found in the community. Go to The Uptowner to see what he meant, and for information on the Sept. 23 concert that will bring Not A Crime’s 2016 education campaign to a close.

See more photos of the murals at The UptownerNot A Crime and Street Art Anarchy, a Manhattan-based group that worked with Not A Crime to curate the murals.

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