Date(s) - 05/02/2022
We encourage all to attend this important vigil and stand in solidarity with the artist and those who oppose racism in any form.
Highland Park, NJ – A coalition of multiple faith and service leaders will be appearing today, Monday, May 2 at 7:00pm to share their outrage at the vandalism of the recently installed mural, “Home Is Where We Make It”, at 75 Raritan Avenue. The new mural, designed in response to facilitated conversations with the local refugee community, was up for less than 48 hours when its first xenophobic vandalism, “USA” spray-painted across the face of a woman with hijab, was discovered Friday morning. Between 7 and 10pm Friday night, two Stars of David were additionally spray painted across the same woman’s face. During the mural’s installation, the artist herself experienced repeated racial harassment, including being called a racist and Nazi by individuals demanding white representation in the mural.
The Shelter Project, the team that commissioned the mural which includes faculty from Rutgers University and New Brunswick Theological Seminary, will be joining with local faith-based and service organizations and clergy to denounce this deplorable act, to express support for our Muslim and refugee neighbors (and all for whom this act is public terrorism), and to grapple with meaningful, antiracist commitments that can be made moving forward.
Represented organizations and houses of worship include the Raritan Valley Orthodox Jewish Community Association, Reformed Church of Highland Park, Masjid-e-Ali Mosque, Black Community Watchline, and Middlesex Black-Jewish Coalition.
Confirmed speakers include
- Josh Pruzansky, Founder and President for the Raritan Valley Orthodox Jewish Community Association
- Dr. Alex Kharazi, Director of Masjid-e-Ali Mosque
- Pastor Seth Kaper-Dale, Reformed Church of Highland Park
- Rebecca Cypess, Middlesex Black-Jewish Coalition
This article has photos of the mural both before and after the ugly racist graffiti.