Activist and journalist Jose Antonio Vargas to visit campus

Jose Antonio Vargas with Poynter logo

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas will visit the campus as a Poynter Fellow on Friday, March 1 as part of Pan Asian American Heritage Month, hosted by the Asian American Cultural Center. That day, he will give a talk, titled “Dear America, Notes of an Undocumented Citizen” at 5 p.m. in Rm. 114 of Sterling-Sheffield-Strathcona Hall, 1 Prospect St. The event is free and open to the public.

Vargas was a part of the Washington Post team that was recognized with a Pulitzer Prize for their reporting on the 2008 Virginia Tech shooting. Previously, he worked for the Philadelphia Daily News, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Huffington Post. In 2011, The New York Times Magazine published an essay he wrote in which he revealed and chronicled his life in America as an undocumented immigrant. A year later, he appeared on the cover of Time magazine worldwide with fellow undocumented immigrants as part of a follow-up story he wrote. He then produced and directed “Documented,” a documentary feature film on his undocumented experience. It aired on CNN, streamed on Netflix, and received a 2015 NAACP Image Award nomination for outstanding documentary. Also in 2015, MTV aired “White People,” an Emmy Award-nominated television special he produced and directed on what it means to be young and white in a demographically changing America.

A voice for the human rights of immigrants, Vargas is the founder of Define American, a nonprofit media and culture organization that fights injustice and anti-immigrant hate through the power of storytelling. His memoir, “Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen,” was published last year.

The Poynter Fellowship in Journalism was established by Nelson Poynter, who received his master’s degree in 1927 from Yale. The fellowship brings to campus distinguished reporters, editors and others who have made important contributions to the media. Among recent Poynter fellows are Robin Wright, Nancy Levinson and April Ryan.


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