ICYMI: Jose Antonio Vargas will speak our Nov. 2 Annual Luncheon—learn more about him
What does the NOW GENERATION see as the most pressing issues affecting Colorado’s youth? What can they teach us by sharing their stories? HELP US bring voice to these topics and elevate kids’ issues through a candid and courageous conversation with young policy advocates from across Colorado moderated by the incomparable JOSE ANTONIO VARGAS! He’ll moderate a panel with young Colorado advocates at our Annual Luncheon on Nov. 2. Tickets go on sale Sept. 4.
Jose Antonio Vargas began his journalism career as a teen intern at the Mountain View Voice in California and later held positions at the San Francisco Chronicle, Philadelphia Daily News, and The Huffington Post, among others. Drawn to ways of using emerging technology in journalism, a twenty-something Vargas wrote about a “YouTube-Facebook-instant messaging generation” and received a Pulitzer Prize as a member of The Washington Post team reporting on the role of technology in student experiences during the Virginia Tech shootings of 2007. That same year, Vargas penned a front-page article in the Post about Wikipedia’s impact on the 2008 presidential election and in sticking with his trademark niche in technology, profiled Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in an article for The New Yorker in 2010.
His most notable article, however, was an exposé in New York Times Magazine in which he revealed his own status as an undocumented immigrant and shared his story of being brought to the U.S. as a child, later discovering his status as a teenager. He chronicled the shame of the secret he kept for almost 15 years, a period during which he worked, paid taxes and feared exposure. He appeared on the cover of Time magazine as part of a follow-up story he wrote a year later. The very next day, the Obama administration announced it would halt the deportation of people under 30 without proper documentation who would qualify for the DREAM Act. Vargas, at age 31, was not eligible for the program.
Later that year, Vargas founded Define American, a nonprofit media and culture organization aimed at facilitating dialogue about immigration issues through storytelling. He wrote, produced and directed the autobiographical film, Documented, which CNN Films broadcast in June 2014, and directed the documentary, White People, which aired on MTV in 2015. His forthcoming memoir, Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, will be published in September 2018.
Vargas uses print media, social media, film and technology as platforms for his advocacy. His extensive background as an award-winning journalist and personal story as a policy advocate who began his journey as a young man make him the perfect person to moderate our panel of exceptional youth advocates this year.