Education Is Not A Crime produces street art and education workshops to talk about education equity and the importance of education as a right for everyone. Dozens of our murals on five continents (with 20 in Harlem, New York City) highlight the transforming power of education and tell the inspiring story of how the Baha'i religious minority in Iran overcomes education discrimination. The story of these murals, artists and communities has spread around the world through social and mainstream media.
People of color in the United States often have less access to quality education than others. And while the causes for this are different from the Iran's persecution of the Baha'is, the outcomes is similar; people from minority communities are unable to receive the education they deserve.
Today in Detroit we're working on something new to bridge these two stories.
Education Is Not A Crime is partnering with a range of Michigan organizations, and the City of Detroit, to build a series of bus shelters for the new GOAL school bus route. The shelters will also double as art installations for Detroit artists to decorate and free book depositories for local kids.
Our idea is to raise awareness about the denial of higher education to Baha'is in Iran by contributing to an improvement in education access for people of color in Detroit. Raising awareness about an injustice by serving others with similar disadvantages is a new way to do this work.
Watch this space for news as we build the first bus shelter in early 2019.
Robert HaydeN - our inspiration for detroit
Robert Hayden started life in 1913 in a poor Detroit neighborhood. His perseverance and talents took him to Wayne State University (then called Detroit City College) and later the University of Michigan. He became a poet, trained under W.H. Auden and was made “poet laureate” of the United States. He was the first African-American to hold that role.
Hayden said that man should be “permitted to be man,” that people of any background should have the chance to make the most of their lives. Hayden also later joined the Baha’i Faith.
We are therefore planning thrilled that our first mural in Detroit, at the Allied Media building on Third Street, celebrates the life and achievements of Robert Hayden.
His story captures the spirit of Education Is Not A Crime.
We are thrilled and honored to work with the City of Detroit, MiraMed, the University of Michigan and Grant Thornton for our work in Detroit.
We love Detroit and we are here to listen – to work with the community.
And we're building a broad coalition of Michigan and American businesses to further this new project. Feel free to contact us!
Education Is Not A Crime is operated by Journalism for Change, a US-registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created in 2014, focusing on creative solutions to social issues while minimizing institutional costs and ensuring sound administration of project funding. Education Is Not A Crime and Journalism for Change were both founded by the Iranian-Canadian journalist and filmmaker Maziar Bahari.