2023 Closing Festival Keynote with Jose Antonio Vargas
End your festival day with a free closing keynote with Jose Antonio Vargas at Calvary Moravian Church.
This is a culminating event for our Book with Purpose program featuring Dear America by Vargas.
Young actors from Black Rep will be doing a dramatization of the prologue from Dear America before the keynote. Vargas will be in conversation with Saket Soni, labor organizer and founder and director of Resilience Force and author of The Great Escape.
Spanish interpretation will be provided by Perez Chandler Communications & Consulting. Please bring headphones to access this service. (More information to come!)
Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Emmy nominated filmmaker, and Tony-nominated producer. His work has appeared internationally in Time magazine, as well as in the San Francisco Chronicle, The New Yorker, and the Washington Post. In 2014, he received the Freedom to Write Award from PEN Center USA. A leading voice for the human rights of immigrants, he founded the non-profit media and culture organization Define American, named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company.
“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 in the unsettled, unmoored psychological state that undocumented immigrants like myself find ourselves in. 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 constantly hiding from the government and, in the process, hiding from ourselves. This book is about what it means to not have a home. After 25 years of living illegally in a country that does not consider me one of its own, this book is the closest thing I have to freedom.” — Jose Antonio Vargas, Dear America
The Book with Purpose program is a summer initiative to unite the Winston-Salem community in book discussions for all ages centered around one book or central topic. This year's book with Dear America, and we discussed the themes of identity and belonging, the meaning of citizenship, finding home, and what it means to be American in today's world. This book is not about taking a political side. It's about finding home and understanding. Book with Purpose 2024 will be focused on voting rights.
This program is a sponsored project of the Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County and funded through ARPA supported by the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners.
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