February 2013, Volume 17, Number 1

Powerful Partnerships

Paving the Way for Justice and Equality

With their strong traditions of advocating for human rights, Miami Dade College and the International Solidarity for Human Rights (ISHR) have frequently worked together to bring insightful lectures, artwork and writing projects to the College’s seven campuses. The teamwork took on new proportions this fall when ISHR – The New Generation brought a full month of events to MDC with its most recent endeavor called “30 Articles, 30 Journals, 30 Days.”

In an effort to reduce human rights violations worldwide by making everyone aware of the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ISHR invited both students and those in the community to submit their reflections either as artwork or in writing for publication in 30 different journals, each one focusing on a specific article. Along with the journals, free lectures were offered at MDC’s InterAmerican Campus, focusing on topics ranging from international law and ethics to the ways in which the European Union and United Nations promote civil rights.

In addition to the monthlong activities at InterAmerican Campus, MDC’s North Campus recently unveiled Libertad, a large-scale work by Jorge Dager, a Venezuelan artist-in-residence at the College whose painting symbolizes Article I, which states, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act toward one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

Pavilion of Inspiration

North Campus also serves as the future home of ISHR’s Route to Human Rights Pavilion, which will house many of the 30 works of art by local and international artists that will illustrate the 30 articles. The Pavilion itself will represent Article 29: “Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.” The space will be used for activities supporting education and raising awareness about human rights issues, including art and photo exhibitions, book readings, receptions, and screenings of documentaries and short films, among other outreach activities.

“Serving nearly two million students during its 52-year history, Miami Dade College epitomizes democracy at its best,” said Elizabeth Sánchez Vega, ISHR president.

ISHR Director Devorah Sasha added, “Human rights are a foundation of democracy, and MDC stands as an ideal institutional partner for ISHR to further the ideals of justice and equality.”

Plazas Celebrating Freedom

Architect Frank Costoya, who designed the Freedom of Expression and Freedom from Discrimination Plazas at InterAmerican and North campuses, respectively, will be in charge of designing the Pavilion. Once all the artwork has been installed, a Passport to Human Rights route and map will be available at each of the 30 art sites and online.

Other ISHR works that the College already has in its permanent Route to Human Rights collection include Uruguayan artist Mauro Arbiza’s sculpture Elevación, on display at InterAmerican Campus, and Spanish artist dEmo’s sculpture Niños at North Campus.

— BK

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