Wyman Series at UW-River Falls Presents Immigration Activist Jose Vargas

March 1, 2013—The Wyman Series at UW-River Falls will present "How Do We Define American?" by immigration activist Jose Vargas on Wednesday, March 13, at 7:30 p.m. in the Riverview Ballroom in the University Center. The event is free and open to the public.  

The following day, UW River Falls presents the opportunity to continue the conversation around immigration with Vargas at the Talking Circle on Thursday, March 14, at 9:30 a.m. in the St. Croix River Room in the University Center.   

Vargas, 32, is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who has written for some of the most prestigious news organizations in the country. His personal journey contends with some of the most fascinating stories he's covered, living a double life since he was 16 years old.  

Born in the Philippines, Vargas' mother, wanting to give her son a better life, sent him at age 12 to live with his grandparents in Silicon Valley. At 16, when applying for his driver's permit, Vargas discovered his green card was not valid and realized he needed to hide his true identity to avoid deportation and to be able to pursue his American dream – a career in journalism.  

Vargas exposed his story in his groundbreaking essay, "My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant," in a New York Times article in 2011 stunning media and political circles and attracting worldwide coverage. Vargas will discuss his personal journey and his current non-profit organization, Define American, which seeks to elevate the conversation about immigration. 

To learn more about Vargas, visit his website at    

The final Wyman Series event of the semester is Earth Week Speaker Julia Butterfly Hill on April 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Abbott Concert Hall of the Kleinpell Fine Arts building.  

For more information on these events or accommodations, call 715-425-4444 or visit

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