First Lecture - University of Houston
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First Lecture is the UH College of Education's back-to-class tradition, designed to give students, faculty, staff and guests a memorable and motivational first lecture to start the academic year.

First Lecture 2022

Join the UH College of Education for an empowering back-to-school kickoff event with nationally renowned writer and advocate Jose Antonio Vargas, a leading voice for the rights of immigrants. His first book, “Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen,” weaves his personal story into a larger conversation about identity. 

  • Friday, Aug. 19, 2022
  • 10:30 a.m. (doors open 10:15 a.m.)
  • Cullen Performance Hall on campus (4300 University Drive, Houston, TX 77004)
  • Free to attend

RSVP now! 

Baratunde Thurston

Keynote Speaker

Born in the Philippines, Jose Antonio Vargas was 12 years old when his mom sent him on a plane to America in August 1993. Four years later, he learned he was undocumented when he tried to apply for a learner’s permit at the California DMV. Vargas went on to have a successful career as a journalist, winning the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting rampage. In 2011, he shared his immigration status in a widely publicized essay in The New York Times Magazine. “Tough as it was, coming out about being gay seemed less daunting than coming out about my legal status,” he wrote. Vargas published his first book, “Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen,” in 2018 and his second book, “White Is Not a Country,” is set to be released in 2023. An Emmy-nominated filmmaker and Tony-nominated producer, he founded and runs the nonprofit media advocacy organization Define American. 

Past Speakers