Eduardo J. Padrón
Office of the President
300 N.E. Second Avenue
Miami, Florida 33132-2297
Message From the President
Thursday, April 01, 2010
Freedom Tower hosts historic Instruments of Torture exhibition
In modern society, torture is rarely spoken about, partially because the topic seems far removed from our world. Unfortunately, people in many nations remain victims of barbaric acts, and according to a recent report by Amnesty International, a serious violation of human rights occurs in approximately 140 countries around the world.
You may have heard about Miami Dade College's upcoming Instruments of Torture through the Ages exhibition, which will take place at the Freedom Tower on April 2 - Aug. 29, and you may question why an institution of higher education, which espouses values such as freedom of thought and speech, would host an admittedly gruesome display at an iconic location of liberty.
Besides vilifying torture and other forms of inhumane treatment, Instruments of Torture through the Ages calls attention to those countries where the support of civil rights and democracy are distant values. The exhibition is shocking, but purposefully so. It is designed to incite an instinctive feeling of civil repulse and to create dialogue about the importance of protecting one of our greatest universal responsibilities: human rights. We must see and reflect upon these acts of violence to awaken our civil conscience.
Having said that, I encourage Miami Dade College's faculty, staff and students to attend this historically unique and educational exhibition, supplemented by a series of lectures, panels and workshops on the issues of freedom, human rights and torture. I will be sending you an invitation to an Instruments of Torture reception on Monday, April 5, but you are welcome to attend the exhibition for free at anytime between now and Aug. 29 by showing your MDC ID card.
Let history be our intellectual guide to understanding the past and present so that we may work for the benefit of those who continue to suffer from the violation of their most basic human rights.