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Two Prominent Undocumented Immigrants to Speak at Duke
Durham, NC - Two prominent undocumented immigrants will tell their stories at Duke University on Monday, Sept. 16.
Jose Antonio Vargas and Inocente Izucar will appear at separate campus events at 7 p.m. Vargas will speak in Page Auditorium on West Campus, while Izucar will attend a film screening in the Richard White Auditorium on East Campus and later take part in a Q-and-A session and reception.
"Both of these individuals tackle misinformation regarding who is undocumented and why; they will help break folks from thinking Latino equals undocumented or undocumented equals Latino, neither of which is correct," said Jenny Snead Williams, executive director of Duke's Program in Latino/a Studies. "They will encourage us to think about both the humanitarian and economic benefits of bringing people out of the undocumented shadows. They will challenge us to consider U.S. policy, congressional inaction, and what role each of us has in this discussion."
Vargas grew up in the United States but discovered, at age 16, that his green card was a fake. He continued hiding his identity to avoid deportation and became a prominent journalist. In 2011, he unveiled his personal story in "My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant," for the New York Times Magazine. Today, Vargas runs Define American, a nonprofit organization that aims to elevate the conversation around immigration.
His talk is free, but tickets are required and can be obtained at the Duke Box Office.
Izucar is the subject of "Inocente," a documentary film about her life. An undocumented immigrant, Izucar and her family were homeless in San Diego for many of her teenage years. A budding artist, she took to painting her face with bright and extravagant makeup as she also worked on her art. Her involvement in the film -- which would eventually win an Academy Award -- helped Izucar gain a foothold selling her artwork, and she has had a successful art show in New York City.
A reception will follow the film screening and Q-and-A session in the Jameson Gallery in the Friedl Building on East Campus. The screening, question session and reception are all free and open to the public.
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