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Jose Antonio Vargas      

Journalist, Filmmaker & Immigration Activist

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. His best-selling memoir, "Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen," was published by HarperCollins in 2018. 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. Vargas 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.

Among accolades Vargas has received are 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 Mountain View High School and San Francisco State University, where he was named Alumnus of the Year in 2012.


Jose Antonio Vargas' Nonprofit Hires Entertainment Media Director ...
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Emmy-nominated filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas' nonprofit organization Define American has tapped Elizabeth Grizzle ...
Jose Antonio Vargas: There's Nothing More American Than Fighting ...
Journalist and immigrant rights activist Jose Antonio Vargas was also in the Supreme Court during Monday's oral arguments in the case, United States v. Texas.
Jose Antonio Vargas on What's at Stake for Undocumented ...
Jose Antonio Vargas discusses 'United States v. Texas,' one of the most important Supreme Court immigration cases in decades.
Jose Antonio Vargas' New Site Aims To Tell Better Story About Race And Identity In America
On Thursday, Vargas launched a crowdfunding campaign for #EmergingUS, a video-heavy digital media outlet he believes can fill a void in covering thorny, overlapping aspects of American identity...
Jose Antonio Vargas partners with Los Angeles Times - Feb. 17, 2015
Jose Antonio Vargas, a journalist and undocumented immigrant, is joining forces with the Los Angeles Times to create a new section devoted to race, ...
From journalism to activism: Jose Antonio Vargas's life on the run ...
Jose Antonio Vargas is running. He's fresh off the red-eye from California to Dulles — his third overnight flight in as many weeks — to deliver yet another speech.

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