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Ogden Honors College Convocation 2019

Jose Antonio Vargas, author of Dear America, Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, will address the Ogden Honors College
When Sep 10, 2019
from 07:30 PM to 09:00 PM
Where LSU Student Union Theater
Contact Name
Contact Phone 225-578-2479
Attendees Ogden Honors College students
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Jose Antonio Vargas, author of Dear America, Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, will give the address at the 2019 Ogden Honors College Convocation. All Ogden students are encouraged to attend, and the event is also open to the general public. Please stop by the front desk in the French House to pick up your free tickets.

Published in 2018, Dear America, Notes of an Undocumented Citizen is a memoir detailing Vargas’ experience as an undocumented immigrant living in the United States. Smuggled into America (from the Philippines) by his family when he is twelve, Vargas discovers that he is “illegal” at sixteen when he goes to apply for a driver’s license. Vargas recounts how he struggles to adapt to American culture at the same time he struggles to “earn” his American citizenship. Because of supportive American friends and family, Vargas attended college and later became a successful reporter for the Washington Post, where he was part of team that won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings.

Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and theatrical producer. A leading voice for the human rights of immigrants, he founded the non-profit media and culture organization Define American, named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company. Most recently, he co-produced Heidi Schreck’s acclaimed play What the Constitution Means to Me, which opened on Broadway in spring 2019.

 In 2011, The New York Times Magazine published a groundbreaking 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 cover story he wrote. He then produced and directed Documented, an autobiographical documentary feature film that aired on CNN and received a 2015 NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Documentary. Also in 2015, MTV aired White People, an Emmy-nominated television special he produced and directed on what it means to be young and white in a demographically-changing America.

 Vargas has received the Freedom to Write Award from PEN Center USA and honorary degrees from Colby College and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Passionate about the role of arts in society and promoting equity in education, he serves on the advisory board of TheDream.US, a scholarship fund for undocumented immigrant students.

 A product of the San Francisco Bay Area, he is a proud graduate of San Francisco State University (’04), where he was named Alumnus of the Year in 2012, and Mountain View High School (’00). An elementary school named after Vargas will open in his hometown of Mountain View, California in fall 2019.

 The Ogden Honors College Shared Read Program introduces new students to the academic and intellectual culture of the Honors College through a common reading experience. Each spring, the Ogden Honors College selects a single text as required summer reading for all incoming students and as recommended reading for current Honors students, faculty and staff. The academic year then opens in the fall semester with the Honors Convocation, at which the author of the Shared Read text gives an address.

All incoming Honors College students are required to read Another Day in the Death of America by August 26, 2019. Students can purchase the book at the Barnes and Noble on LSU’s campus at a discounted rate, or at their local bookstore.

A book signing will follow Mr. Vargas’ address.