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Spring 2021 Events

MARCH

Brock-Wilson Center Intersectionality Speaker Series - A Conversation with Julissa Arce

Wednesday, March 3rd, 7:00 PM EST, Live-Streamed Event

Co-Sponsored with the Brock-Wilson Center

As part of the Brock-Wilson Center's Intersectionality Speaker Series, The Brock-Wilson Center and the Purdue Latino Cultural Center will host a discussion with Julissa Arce. Julissa Arce is a political commentator, speaker, and best-selling author. She was named one of People en Español’s 25 Most Powerful Woman of 2017. She is a leading voice in the fight for social justice, immigration rights, and education equality. Her second book Someone Like Me is her first Young Adult book and was published in September 2018. The evening will be moderated by Carina Olaru, Director of the Purdue Latino Cultural Center.

Julissa Arce is an immigration advocate and author of My (Underground) American Dream, her incredible true story as an undocumented immigrant who became a Wall Street executive. At the podium, Julissa shares her incredible true story of reaching the top of the corporate ladder as both a Latina woman and an undocumented immigrant. While, to many, she seemed to have achieved the American dream, she struggled to understand how bureaucracy and status made her any less of an American. She discusses how this inner conflict, as well as the plight of the millions of other undocumented Americans living in the U.S., compelled her to leave Wall Street and pursue a career as a writer and immigration rights advocate. Through Julissa’s personal stories, audiences will gain a new perspective on what it means to achieve the “American dream.”

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Purdue AAARCC Reading Club, LCC Lit Club, Purdue Immigrant Allies & Purdue West Lafayette Library Virtual Book Discussion: Dear America: Notes from an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas

Thursdays, March 11, 18 & 25, 5:30PM-6:30 PM EST, Live-Streamed Event

From the Back Cover:

My name is Jose Antonio Vargas. I was born in the Philippines. When I was twelve, my mother sent me to the United States to live with her parents. While applying for a driver’s permit, I found out my papers were fake. More than two decades later, I am still here illegally, with no clear path to American citizenship. To some people, I am the “most famous illegal” in America. In my mind, I am only one of an estimated 11 million human beings whose uncertain fate is under threat in a country I call my home.

This is not a book about the politics of immigration. This book—at its core—is not about immigration at all. This book is about homelessness, not in a traditional sense, but about the unsettled, unmoored psychological state in which undocumented immigrants like me find ourselves. This book is about lying and being forced to lie to get by; about passing as an American and as a contributing citizen; about families, keeping them together, and having to make new ones when you can’t. This book is about what it means to not have a home.

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APRIL 

An Evening with Jose Antonio Vargas

Thursday, April 8th, Live-Streamed Event

Co-Sponsored with the Pursuing Racial Justice Together Series and the Asian American and Asian Resource Cultural Center

Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and Tony-nominated producer. Vargas rose to prominence in 2011 with his groundbreaking essay in the New York Times Magazine, which revealed and chronicled his life as an undocumented immigrant. In 2012, he penned a follow-up essay and appeared with other undocumented immigrants on the cover of Time Magazine.

Since then, Vargas has written several books, including his best-selling memoir, Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen. He also produced and directed Documented, an autobiographical documentary that received an NAACP Image Award nomination, directed White People, an Emmy-nominated television special on what it means to be young and white in a demographically changing America, and co-produced the Tony-nominated play What the Constitution Means to Me.

Vargas is also the founder of the non-profit media and culture organization Define American, a culture change organization that uses the power of narrative to humanize conversations about immigrants and advocating within news, entertainment, and digital media to create an America where everyone belongs.

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