Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist to speak at UofL


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author and advocate for immigration reform and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights will be at the University of Louisville Oct. 3 as the keynote speaker during Pride Week 2012.

    Jose Antonio Vargas, who is openly gay, wrote a 2011 article for The New York Times Magazine that revealed his status as an undocumented immigrant. He was also featured in a TIME cover story about immigration rights. Vargas is founder of DefineAmerican.com and has been a journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post and Huffington Post among other media outlets. He was awarded a 2008 Pulitzer Prize for news articles about the Virginia Tech shootings.

    His UofL talk begins at 7 p.m. in the Swain Student Activities Center (SAC), Belknap Campus. The lecture is open to the public and free for students with identification. Donations to offset costs will be accepted at the event. He is expected to discuss his identity as a journalist, an openly gay man, a person of color and an undocumented immigrant.

    Other public events during Pride Week 2012 include an Oct. 4, 7 p.m., screening in the SAC of the film “Brother Outsider, The Life of Bayard Rustin.” The film illuminates the life and work of Rustin, who is best known as an adviser to Martin Luther King Jr. and organizer of the 1963 March on Washington. Rustin, who died in 1987, was a human rights activist and openly gay at a time in U.S. history when there was little public acceptance of homosexuality.

    The screening will also include a presentation by Mandy Carter, national coordinator, Bayard Rustin Commemoration 2012-2013 Project, National Black Justice Coalition, and Walter Naegle, surviving partner of Rustin.

    Sponsors of the Vargas visit are the Office for LGBT Services and the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky. The Student Activities Board is the sponsor for the film screening and the Carter and Naegle visits.

    Cindy Hess
    Cindy Hess has more than 30 years of experience in communications, marketing and investor relations, including more than a decade at UofL. She is "sort of" retired but happy to come back to the Office of Communications and Marketing to help with special projects and assignments.