UWM hosts immigration reform activist Jose Antonio Vargas

Jose Antonio VargasPulitzer Prize winning journalist and undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas is the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s fall semester Distinguished Lecture Series speaker. His talk, “Define American,” takes place on Thursday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. in the UWM Union Wisconsin Room, 2200 E. Kenwood Blvd.

In 2011, Vargas wrote a piece in “The New York Times Magazine,” titled “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant.” Ever since, he has been elevating the conversation around immigration and what it means to “be American.”

At UWM, Vargas will discuss his “double-coming out” as an undocumented immigrant from the Philippines and as a gay man of color, and how the power of knowing our own, unique stories does more to add to the story of America than to hurt it.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance at the UWM Union Information Center, ground level, 2200 E. Kenwood Blvd. Find more information at dls.uwm.edu.

Two related programs are free and open to the public:

“Dreaming Out Loud” is an immigration rights and reform panel discussion on Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. in the UWM Union Fireside Lounge. The discussion will be moderated by Rachel Buff, associate professor of history. The panel features Cain Oulahan, immigration attorney; Susana Munoz, assistant professor of administrative leadership, School of Education; Raoul Deal, senior lecturer of art and design, Peck School of the Arts; and, two student leaders.

“Documented,” the documentary film on Vargas’ immigration story, will be screened Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. in the UWM Union Theatre.

UWM’s Union Sociocultural Programming Department provides events and activities for the campus and community that are designed to increase awareness and understanding of diverse identities, social justice and urban issues. This programming explores and celebrates differences and commonalities related to race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, spirituality, cognitive and physical ability, socioeconomic status and more.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Jose Antonio Vargas is available for media interviews. Contact Claudia E. Guzmán, sociocultural program manager, at 414-229-6998 or guzmanc@uwm.edu.