Jose Antonio Vargas, 'My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant' – Feb. 22

Pulitzer Prize-winner Jose Antonio Vargas will speak at Elon University's Diversity and Leadership Conference about "coming out" as an undocumented immigrant in the New York Times Magazine and later on the cover of TIME magazine. 

Jose Antonio Vargas, “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant”

McKinnon Hall, Moseley Center, 2:40 p.m.

2014 Intersect Conference Keynote Address

A journalist for some of the most prestigious news organizations in the nation, Vargas’s personal journey contends with some of the most fascinating stories he’s covered. As a youth, his mother sent him from the Philippines to live with his grandparents in Silicon Valley. When applying for a driver’s permit, he discovered his green card was a fake. Vargas realized he would need to hide his true identity to avoid deportation and to pursue his dream – a career in journalism.

In 2011, 18 years after arriving in the United States, Vargas exposed his story, “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant,” for the New York Times Magazine, stunning media and political circles and attracting worldwide coverage.

Elon hosts Vargas as the keynote speaker for a two-day conference designed to educate the campus and community about diversity issues and how individual leadership can make a difference through its focus on four pillars: power and privilege, oppression, organizational development and social change. Conference admission is $50 or free for Elon students, and it includes meals. 

Intersect: Diversity and Leadership Conference is hosted by the Elon Multicultural Center, Center for Leadership and the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life in accordance with Elon’s diversity pledge for global engagement and respect for human differences.

In 2010, the Leadership Development Institute and the Multicultural Student Council collaborated to create the “Intersect” concept, combining their values to form the four pillars. The Leadership Development Institute began in 1997 to equip students with skills needed to lead campus organizations effectively, and the Multicultural Student Council was founded in 2009 to prompt conversation and education about diversity at Elon.