Watch a video introduction of Jose Antonio Vargas

The Justice Forum with Jose Antonio Vargas is free and open to the public. Registration necessary to save your spot.


Jose Antonio Vargas

(versión español aquí)
Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist

CEO and Founder of Define American
and Author of Dear America: Notes from an Undocumented Citizen


Thursday, October 3, 2019

Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, U.S. Cellular Center, Asheville

5:30pm Pre-Event Reception; 7:00pm Forum

Contact Michelle Spiegel at Pisgah Legal Services, 828-210-3773, to join the waitlist.

Tickets to the Forum are free and open to the public. 
Registration is required.

Become a Sponsor
Learn more or contact Ally Wilson at 210-3444.


About the Speaker

Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and a leading voice for the human rights of immigrants. He is the Founder and CEO of Define American, the nation’s leading nonprofit media organization that fights injustice and anti-immigrant hate through the power of storytelling.

Mr. Vargas shares details of his childhood journey to America from the Philippines, and his life now in the United States as an immigration reform activist. He has been called the most famous undocumented immigrant in America.

In 2011 The New York Times published his groundbreaking essay revealing and chronicling his life in America as an undocumented immigrant. A year later, he appeared on the cover of TIME magazine worldwide with fellow undocumented immigrants in a follow-up cover story.

Mr. Vargas then produced and directed Documented, a feature film about his personal experiences. The film received a 2015 NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Documentary. He published a best-selling memoir in 2018 called Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen.

Among accolades he has received are the Freedom to Write Award from PEN Center USA and honorary degrees from Emerson College, 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.

Mr. Vargas has written for numerous publications such as The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, and he won a Pulitzer Prize for helping cover the Virginia Tech shooting.

Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen Book Clubs

United Way: Aug. 21- Sept. 18 Wednesday mornings from 8:45-9:45 am in the United Way Building at 50 S. French Broad Ave.
Malaprops: Friday, September 27 at 6:30 pm

About the Justice Forum

This is the ninth year Pisgah Legal Services has hosted this event, formerly known as the Poverty Forum, to draw attention to the plight of low-income people in Western North Carolina and to elevate the conversation about pressing local and national issues. This year’s Forum focuses on the challenges faced by immigrants and the work that Pisgah Legal Services does to help immigrant families and individuals.

For the first time ever, tickets to the Forum will be free to the public.
Advance registration is required.

Tickets for the Reception are limited and sell out quickly.

To be added to our e-newsletter for updates or for more information about the event,
contact Michelle Spiegel at Pisgah Legal Services: 828-210-3773.

Special thanks to the following Champion and Partner Sponsors:

[gs_logo logo_cat=”Jazz for Justice Sponsors”]

Thanks also to all these wonderful sponsors:

All Souls Pizza
Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity
Asheville Brewing
Asheville Wine Market
BlackBird Frame & Art
Blue Ridge Orthodontics
Celine and Company
Cris Bifaro Woodworks
Deerfield Episcopal Retirement Community
Earth Equity Advisors
First Congregational Church of Hendersonville
Hi-Wire Brewing
Jesse Kitt Photography
Judy Futch Consulting
Law Office of Leah Broker, P.A.
Lenoir-Rhyne University
Malaprop’s Bookstore

MediationWorks NC
Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty
New Hope Presbyterian Church
North Carolina Justice Center
Pitts, Hay & Hugenschmidt, P.A.
RHA Health Services
Samsel Architects
St. Eugene Catholic Church
St. James Episcopal Church – Black Mountain
St. Matthias Episcopal Church
Town & Mountain Realty
Trinity Episcopal Church
UNC Asheville
United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County
Windsor Boutique Hotel
YWCA Asheville
Zöe Dental