Jose Antonio Vargas

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

Tickets to the Forum will be free and open to the public.  Registration will be required.

Registration and ticket sales begin August 15th.

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 journey to American from the Philippines as a child and his journey through America 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 massacre.


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.

Please check back for details on August 15th when tickets sales/registration begin.

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 sponsors: