We at the Kapor Center are thrilled to be hosting the Oakland debut of the film DOCUMENTED along with our friends at Define American. In 2011, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas outed himself as an undocumented immigrant in the New York Times. The film chronicles his journey to the U.S. from the Philippines as a child, his journey through America as an immigration reform activist and his journey inward as he reconnects with his mother whom he has not seen in 20 years. The sold-out screening of the award-winning documentary has a very special addition – Jose Antonio Vargas himself, who will be in attendance for a Q & A session after the film.
This event is a vital opportunity to highlight the need for immigration policy platform. As the Kapor Center fights to diversify the fields of science and technology, we are acutely aware of the talent that is squandered with xenophobic policies and arduous paths to citizenship. We herald the work of DREAMers and immigration reform activists who fight ceaselessly to bring justice and end deportation and discrimination for the undocumented community. Bringing this film to the East Bay is a contribution we are proud to make to this flourishing movement.
This is an exciting time for the immigrants’ rights movement, as momentous change is coming quickly down the pipeline. Just this month the California Supreme Court ruled that undocumented Americans can obtain licenses to practice law. The Kapor Center applauds these kinds of advancements that break down barriers to access for marginalized communities. We believe that all of us benefit from increased diversity across sectors, be it technology, law, entertainment, or education.
Increasingly, public opinion bends toward egalitarianism. A bipartisan poll published in January of 2013 states that four out of five Americans support a path to citizenship. I am reminded of a quote by Cesar Chavez, “Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot ‘uneducate’ the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. We have seen the future, and the future is ours.” Let’s proudly stand with the undocumented community and the majority of Americans in the fight for immigrant rights.