Jose Antonio Vargas to speak at LSC on Define American organization

Audrey Weiss

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Emmy-nominated filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas will speak at the Lory Student Center Feb. 27 at 5:30 p.m.

The event will be open to the public and hosted by Dreamers United at Colorado State University and RamEvents at CSU.


Vargas will discuss his experience as an undocumented immigrant and his work as the Chief Executive Officer of Define American, a non-profit organization aiming to shift the way in which America approaches issues of immigration, identity and citizenship.

In 2011, Vargas wrote an article about his experiences as an undocumented immigrant, which was published in the New York Times Magazine.

“I convinced myself that if I worked enough, if I achieved enough, I would be rewarded citizenship,” Vargas wrote. “I felt I could earn it.”

In 2013, Vargas released his documentary, Documented, chronicling his move to America, his work as an immigration rights activist and his first interaction with his mother, whom he last saw at the age of 12 in the Philippines 20 years prior.

“Even though I think of myself as an American and consider America my country, my country doesn’t think of me as one of its own,” Vargas said in his article.

Vargas and his team at Define American initiated the Define American College Chapters program in October of 2015. The program allows college students to participate in these conversations.

According to the Define American website, Vargas launched the program as a response to the ever-changing environments on college campuses to look to youths in order to discuss pertinent issues regarding immigration, identity and citizenship.

“Intersectionality is not just a concept. People are living through it,” Vargas said during a Mashable interview in 2015. “I see Define American Chapters as operating through that lens.”

Students can join or start Define American Chapters at their campuses with the toolkits available on the Define American website.

Collegian reporter Audrey Weiss can be reached at or on Twitter @audkward