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Undocumented immigrant journalist Jose Antonio Vargas to speak

February 23, 2018

Journalist and undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas will be speaking on campus next Thursday in the Kenneth V. Santagata Memorial Lecture. His talk, titled “Define America: My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant,” will take place in Kresge Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.

Vargas, who came to the United States from the Philippines at age 12, publicly announced his undocumented status in a New York Times essay in 2011. He went on to found Define American, a nonprofit organization that hopes to “shift the conversation about immigrants, identity, and citizenship in a changing America.”

Vargas previously worked for several news organizations, including the Washington Post. In 2008, he and his colleagues were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting for their coverage of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting.

The Office of Student Activities, the Cinema Studies Program and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology organized a screening of Vargas’s autobiographical documentary, “Documented,” this past Sunday in anticipation of Vargas’ visit. Vargas also directed the 2015 film, “White People,” which discusses the impact of white privilege. His memoir, “Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen,” will be released in September.


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