FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FILMMAKERS BEHIND 'DOCUMENTED' RELEASE HIGH SCHOOL CURRICULUM BASED ON FILM
Brand-New Curriculum Tied to Immigration and Identity Debuts at the National Council for the Social Studies Conference This Week
BOSTON, MA (November 21, 2014) – Define American, the media and culture organization behind Jose Antonio Vargas' critically-acclaimed film DOCUMENTED, has announced the release of a brand-new curriculum for 11th and 12th graders built around the documentary. The curriculum, which adheres to Common Core standards, made its debut this week at the 94th Annual Conference of the National Council for the Social Studies in Boston, MA, where complimentary copies were made available to teachers in attendance.
Vargas began filming DOCUMENTED shortly after he penned the 2011 personal essay for the New York Times Magazine, "My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant," sharing his very personal story which includes his journey to America from the Philippines as a child, his public struggle as an immigration reform activist/provocateur, and his complicated relationship with his mother, whom he hasn't seen in over 20 years. The film was released in theaters earlier this year, made its debut as a CNN Films broadcast in June, and is currently available for download on digital platforms.
DOCUMENTED joins a collection of films, among them 12 YEARS A SLAVE, GIRL RISING, and BULLY, to have been adapted into curriculum for the purpose of bringing social and political issues to the classroom. Vargas says, "By releasing this curriculum, we seek to further elevate the conversation around immigration as I tried to do with DOCUMENTED – by transcending politics and humanizing the issues of immigration, identity, and citizenship in America for young people. I hope that my personal story will open up a larger discussion among teachers and students alike."
Yesterday, with the announcement of President Obama's executive action on immigration, Jose and many of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in America will now be able to apply for deferred action to get temporary status, a work permit, and can request permission to travel outside the US.
Vargas, who will receive the Spirit of America Award on Saturday at the NCSS conference for his exemplary contributions to the "spirit of American Democracy," continues to crusade for change in the conversation around the issue of immigration, citizenship, and American identity through his organization Define American. He recently announced that his next project will be a documentary-style program for MTV's "Look Different" campaign, examining what it means to be 'white' in an increasingly 'minority-majority' country.
Curriculum for DOCUMENTED can be downloaded with purchase at documentedthefilm.com/educators.
Maria Cruz Lee