Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas discovered that he was in the United States illegally when, at 16, he went to apply for his driver’s license. Having come from the Philippines at age 12, he never imagined that the documents that his family provided him were fraudulent. For almost 15 years Vargas hid his undocumented status, until, in 2011, he revealed his story to the world in an essay for The New York Times Sunday Magazine. On that day he also launched Define American, an organization that aims to use all forms media to change the culture of how we think of immigrants in America. At the end of February, Vargas visited HGSE to deliver the keynote address of the Alumni of Color Conference, in which he spoke about immigration, citizenship, and identity in a demographically-changing America.
In this edition of the Harvard EdCast, Vargas shares his story and discusses how he hopes to change the conversation around immigration in the United States.
The Harvard EdCast is a weekly series of podcasts, available on the Harvard University iTunes U page, that features a 15-20 minute conversation with thought leaders in the field of education from across the country and around the world. Hosted by Matt Weber, the Harvard EdCast is a space for educational discourse and openness, focusing on the myriad issues and current events related to the field.