Miami Dade College to Illuminate Freedom Tower Blue on Human Rights Day

MDC joins global effort to cast light on iconic buildings around the world on Human Rights Day 

Miami, Dec. 5, 2017 Miami Dade College (MDC) will illuminate its historic Freedom Tower bright blue at sunset, Sunday, Dec. 10, in support of Human Rights Day 2017. It’s the first time the Freedom Tower, a National Historical Landmark, joins other iconic buildings around the world in a display of support for human rights, including the Empire State Building in New York; the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada; the Sydney Opera House; the John Hancock Tower in Chicago; and Taipei 101 in Taiwan.

The movement to turn global landmarks blue was initiated in 2012 by Human Rights Watch (HRW), one of the world’s leading human rights organizations. In lighting the Freedom Tower blue, MDC, a long-time proponent of immigrant rights and equal education opportunities, joins forces with Human Rights Watch to honor Human Rights Day and support its mission to promote rights and justice around the world.

Human Rights Day celebrates the adoption in 1948 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly; a document that established, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected. A declaration that has since been translated into over 500 languages.

“We share a common set of principles and values with MDC and are grateful for their partnership here in Miami and in the global fight for human rights,” said Carine Chehab, Associate Director of Human Rights Watch’s Miami office. “We see the lighting of the Freedom Tower as a symbol of our unity as a community in the face of the increased divisiveness and negative rhetoric that surrounds us today and we call on all our friends to stand with us against injustice and in support of universal human rights.”

Human Rights Watch, an independent, international organization founded in 1978, has recently established its first permanent office in Miami.  The organization is known for its accurate fact-finding and impartial reporting in more than 90 countries, effective use of media, and targeted advocacy, often in partnership with local groups. Its 420 staff members based around the world work tirelessly to end human rights violations by investigating and exposing abuses, pressing for policy changes to improve human rights, and seeking to bring abusers to justice. Human Rights Watch does not accept government funding. For more information, please visit

MDC awards more associate degrees to minority students than any other institution in the United States under the leadership of President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, who has become the most recognized and effective national voice for access and inclusion in higher education during his 40-year career at the college. Dr. Padròn, a Cuban immigrant, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2016 and is a member of the Miami Circle of Friends of Human Rights Watch.

The Freedom Tower is a long-standing symbol of immigration and freedom in Miami, having served as a newspaper and a Cuban refugee center before becoming a museum under the management of MDC.

“Miami, with our diverse communities and rich history of welcoming immigrants from all over the world, is an important symbol for inclusion, integration and hope, said President Padrón. “We honor that spirit at MDC and believe in the absolute necessity of human rights for all.”

WHAT:        Freedom Tower Goes Blue for Human Rights Day

WHEN:       Sunday, Dec. 10, at sunset

WHERE:    Freedom Tower

600 Biscayne Blvd.

HRW Media Contact: Emma Daly, HRW director of communications, 212-216-1835,, @HRW and @HRW_Miami.