2023 Closing Festival Keynote with Jose Antonio Vargas

Graphic of the Closing Keynote with Jose Antonio Vargas at 5 pm at Calvary Moravian Church. This is s a free keynote with no registration or tickets required. 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.

DEAR AMERICA book cover by Jose Antonio Vargas“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


Book with Purpose logoThe 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.

Please Note: Bookmarks cannot be held responsible for changes to an author's schedule.

By registering and attending this event, you agree to have your email address added to our newsletter distribution list. You may opt out at any time.

Please be advised that by attending this event your photograph or image may be taken in connection with Bookmarks. To opt out, please see a staff member. As such, you agree to relinquish any reasonable expectation of privacy and understand that the use of your image does not violate any right of privacy, law regulation, or agreement. Moreover, you hereby grant permission to Bookmarks and its representatives to use, or authorize others to use, any photographic, motion picture, image, or recording, or other record of your participation in activities in connection with Bookmarks, in whole or in part, throughout the universe in perpetuity, in all media and means, now known or hereafter developed or discovered, solely for promotional and related purposes.

Please be aware of our Code of Conduct: Bookmarks has a zero tolerance policy for harassment of any kind in person or social media, including but not limited to: Stalking; intimidation; offensive verbal comments; physical assault and/or battery; harassing or non-consensual photography or recording; sustained disruption of programs, panels, signings, and other events; bathroom policing; inappropriate physical contact; and unwelcome physical attention, in relation to, but not limited to: race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, gender presentation, sexual orientation, age, body size, ability, appearance, religion, citizenship, pregnancy. If a person engages in harassing behavior, Bookmarks Staff will take prompt action in any form they deem appropriate, including but not limited to expulsion from the Bookmarks sponsored event or premises. This policy applies to everyone (exhibitors, attendees, authors, speakers, guests, press, staff, board members, and volunteers) at all of Bookmarks events and programming. Anyone can report harassment. If someones behavior has made you uncomfortable, or if you witness the same happening to someone else, you should immediately contact Bookmarks staff or security. In this virtual landscape, we ask that you remain respectful as you would for an in person event. We will remove and ban you from virtual events if you submit any inappropriate content, offensive or of any nature that does not pertain to the event visually, verbally, or in written content. If removed from the event, you will not receive a refund of any kind.

Event date: 
Saturday, September 23, 2023 - 5:00pm
Event address: 
Calvary Moravian Church
600 Holly Avenue Northwest
Winston Salem, NC 27101