(New York, NY — June 26, 2014) – Define American, the media and culture campaign to elevate the conversation around citizenship and national identity, has teamed up with 37 Watch Partners including GLAAD, MTV, Moms Rising, Fwd.us, Welcome.us, the National Council of La Raza, The Anti-Defamation League, Million Hoodies Movement for Justice and the National Council of the Social Studies to promote and encourage viewing parties around the broadcast premiere of the film "Documented," airing on CNN on June 29th at 9 PM EDT.
Official Watch Partners, listed below, have been engaged from not only the immigration space but also parenting; media; the arts; academia; and the legal and museum worlds, demonstrating the far reaching implications and relevance of unresolved issues regarding the state of the immigration system in the United States. They will promote the broadcast premiere of the film and Define American's customizable Watch Party Toolkits in order to inspire productive conversations in their communities and generate ideas for solutions around the complicated issue of immigration reform.
Watch party hosts are registering online at (http://act.defineamerican.com/page/s/host-a-documented-watch-party) and watch parties are being monitored and mapped at (http://act.defineamerican.com/page/event/search_simple).
The critically-acclaimed biographical film was written, directed and produced by Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who began working on the film shortly before June 2011, when he revealed that he is undocumented in a personal essay for the New York Times Magazine, "My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant" and launched Define American. "Documented" premieres on the 3rd anniversary of the article's publishing, the 2nd anniversary of TIME Magazine's cover story featuring Vargas with 35 undocumented young people, and the 1st anniversary of "Documented's" premiere at the AFI Docs Film Festival.
Over 170 watch parties in almost every state in the United States have already been registered, with over 4,000 attendees having RSVPed nationwide.
Vargas said: "Among my chief goals in making 'Documented' is to expand the conversation around immigration and citizenship in a demographically changing America. The diversity of the groups who are united in promoting 'Documented' underscore the urgent need for conversation across all communities."
"Documented," which is a project of Define American, was executive produced by technology entrepreneur and philanthropist Sean Parker, Matthew Hiltzik (Paper Clips), philanthropist Liz Simons, Scott Budnick (The Hangover series), Janet Yang (The Joy Luck Club, The People vs. Larry Flynt), and Kevin Iwashina.
The film chronicles Vargas' journey from when he was sent to America from the Philippines at age 12 to live with his grandparents – naturalized citizens – in Mountain View, CA. Vargas found out he was undocumented when he was 16. "Documented" follows Jose as he travels around the country, speaking to people across America and sharing his personal experience in order to spark an honest dialogue about immigration and the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the US today. The film also explores his relationship with his mom – whom he hasn't seen in person in over 20 years. It is the inaugural film by Apo Anak Productions, created by Vargas in honor of his grandparents and mother. In Tagalog, Vargas' native language, "apo" means grandchild and "anak" means "child."
CNN Films acquired the North American broadcast rights to "Documented" in November 2013, before its international premiere at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam and following its world premiere at the AFI Docs festival in Washington, D.C. in June 2013.
In June 2012, Vargas appeared on the cover of both the domestic and international editions of TIME Magazine with 35 other undocumented young people, for a cover story he wrote titled "We Are Americans: Just Not Legally."
In June 2013, "Documented" premiered at the AFI Docs Film Festival in Washington, DC. It opened theatrically in 12 cities: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Miami, Denver, Washington DC, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Berkeley and Sonoma. "Documented" is being distributed digitally by Bond/360.
DOCUMENTED will be available, in simulcast, through CNNx for iPad, as well as through "Watch CNN" via www.cnn.com and CNN's mobile applications. The two-hour film will also encore on CNN/U.S. on Saturday, July 5, at 9:00pm and 11:00pm ET.
More information about the film may be found by visiting documentedthefilm.com
OFFICIAL WATCH PARTNERS
GLAAD works with print, broadcast and online news sources to bring people powerful stories from the LGBT community that build support for equality. Learn more at http://www.glaad.org
MTV'S "Look Different" Campaign
MTV's "Look Different" is a multi-year campaign empowering America's youth to better counter the hidden racial, gender and anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) biases all around us. The campaign reflects Millennials' deep commitment to the principles of equality and fairness, while inviting them to look differently at subjects like privilege, prejudice and "colorblindness." More information can be found at www.lookdifferent.org
A transformative on-the-ground and online multicultural organization of more than a million members and over a hundred aligned organizations working to increase family economic security, to end discrimination against women and mothers, and to build a nation where both businesses and families can thrive. http://www.momsrising.org
Welcome.us, a new non-profit organization, is dedicated to celebrating a United States that is fueled by immigrants from around the world. Led by Tolu Olubunmi, an immigrant and DREAMer, the organization is focused on launching the Welcome.us campaign and establishing Immigrant Heritage Month to honor the ways in which America and the immigrants who have built our country are linked in a shared, productive history. Welcome.us is supported by FWD.us, which was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayer, Reid Hoffman, Bill Gates, Padmasree Warrior, and other tech leaders. Learn more about the campaign and Immigrant Heritage Month by visiting Welcome.us
FWD.us is an advocacy organization created to help organize the broader tech community to promote a bipartisan policy agenda – including comprehensive immigration reform, education reform, and support for scientific research – that will boost the knowledge economy to ensure more jobs, innovation and investment, now and in the future. You can learn more at www.fwd.us
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) supports a comprehensive approach to immigration reform that includes (1) a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, (2) fair treatment and equal access to human services for immigrants, and (3) a sound border security strategy. Through legislative advocacy, litigation and public awareness campaigns, ADL has promoted fair and humane immigration policies since its founding in 1913. To learn more, please visit http://www.adl.org
Million Hoodies is a national organization with over 50,000 members working to protect and empower young people of color from racial profiling and senseless gun violence through creative technology, strategic communications, and grassroots power building. www.mhoodies.org
National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)
Founded in 1921, the National Council for the Social Studies has members throughout the United States and several foreign countries. Membership includes K-16 classroom teachers, curriculum supervisors and specialists, curriculum writers and designers, and teacher educators. The NCSS serves as an umbrella organization for teachers of civics, history, geography, economics, political science, sociology, psychology, anthropology and law-related education. For more information please visit www.socialstudies.org
The National Council of La Raza (NCLR)
The National Council of La Raza (NCLR)—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. www.nclr.org
The National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA)
The National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) is the nation's leading voice for dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the United States, most of whom are women. www.domesticworkers.org
United We Dream (UWD)
United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation, a powerful nonpartisan network made up of 53 affiliate organizations in 26 states. UWD organizes and advocates for the dignity and fair treatment of immigrant youth and families, regardless of immigration status. We seek to address the inequities and obstacles faced by immigrant youth and believe that by empowering immigrant youth, we can advance the cause of the entire community—justice for all immigrants. http://unitedwedream.org
AFI DOCS is the American Film Institute's annual documentary festival in the Washington, DC, area. Presenting the year's best documentaries, AFI DOCS is the only festival in the U.S. dedicated to screenings and events that connect audiences, filmmakers and policy leaders in the seat of our nation's government. Visit AFI.com/AFIDOCS and connect on twitter.com/AFIDOCS, facebook.com/AFIDOCS and youtube.com/AFI
National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA)
Since 1997, the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) has been the standard bearer for promoting the welfare and well-being of all Filipinos and Filipino-Americans throughout the United States. As a non-partisan and non-profit organization, NaFFAA is the largest national affiliation of Filipino American institutions, umbrella organizations and individuals. Its thirteen-member regions cover the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, the Marianas Islands, and American Samoa.
The NYC Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA)
The Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs promotes the well-being of immigrant communities by recommending policies and programs that facilitate successful integration of immigrant New Yorkers into the civic, economic, and cultural life of the City. Commissioner Agarwal says: "'Documented' is a powerful film that humanizes the conversation around comprehensive immigration reform. It's important for everyone to understand that throughout the country, and especially in New York City, as a City of immigrants, the undocumented are our relatives, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and we are all part of the same country working to support those we care about. MOIA was proud to screen 'Documented' for the kick-off of Immigrant Heritage Week in NYC and, as a watch partner, is sharing the opportunity with community leaders and organizations to continue the conversation on immigration reform." www.nyc.gov/immigrant
The Philadelphia Mayor's Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs
The mission of the Office is to promote the well-being of the immigrant community and other constituency groups in Philadelphia by: improving access to city services, engaging local and national community-based organizations and other non-profit groups, developing economic resources, promoting civic participation and assisting with educational opportunities and access. http://www.phila.gov/ima/Pages/default.aspx
The Los Angeles Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs
Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs coordinates city services and delivery for LA's immigrant population. Our goal is to assist immigrants to Integrate in the social, economic and civic fabric of the city. http://www.lamayor.org
The Chicago Mayor's Office of New Americans
The Office of New Americans (ONA) is dedicated to improving services and engaging Chicago's global immigrant communities through enhanced collaboration with community organizations, academic institutions, and the private sector. Through the creation of the ONA, the City of Chicago has affirmed and strengthened its support for immigrant communities, entrepreneurs, and businesses. http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/mayor/provdrs/office_of_new_americans.html
The Mayor's Office of New Bostonians
The Mayor's Office of New Bostonians was created to ensure that immigrants have full access to the civic, economic, social and cultural life of Boston. MONB has been established as a nationally-recognized model for assisting newcomers in overcoming the barriers and challenges of immigration. For more information, please visit www.boston.gov/newbostonians or call (617) 635-2980
The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC)
The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC) is a statewide, membership-based coalition of immigrant, faith, labor, youth, community, business and ally organizations founded in 2002 to improve the lives of immigrants and refugees by making Colorado a more welcoming, immigrant-friendly state. CIRC achieves this mission through non-partisan civic engagement, public education, and advocating for workable, fair and humane immigration policies. www.coloradoimmigrant.org
The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA)
The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) is the largest organization in New England promoting the rights and integration of immigrants and refugees. We serve the Commonwealth's one million foreign-born residents with policy analysis and advocacy, institutional organizing, research, training and leadership development, and strategic communications. Learn more at www.miracoalition.org
The Global Media Center for Social Impact (GMI)
GMI, located at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, unleashes the power of storytelling to change our world by serving as a free resource to the entertainment industry on topics such as immigration, racial justice, prison reform, health, environmental issues, LGBT/gender equality and more. From script reviews and writers room consultations to off-site visits and special events, GMI facilitates experiences for industry professionals that inspire them tocreate compelling and realistic storylines on topics of social value. Quote: "Documented puts a powerful human face on immigration," says Sandra de Castro Buffington, founding director of UCLA's Global Media Center for Social Impact. She continues, "Jose's story transports viewers well beyond the obvious need for policy change into a bigger story of people opening their hearts and minds to get to know one other, regardless of country of origin. This is the story that will create a society where people are treated with respect and dignity; stereotypes are challenged; and people are treated equally so that everyone has the tools to live full, healthy and productive lives." www.gmimpact.org/
Heartland Alliance's National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC)
With offices in Chicago, Indiana, and Washington, D.C., Heartland Alliance's National Immigrant Justice Center is a nongovernmental organization dedicated to ensuring human rights protections and access to justice for all immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers through a unique combination of direct services, policy reform, impact litigation and public education. Visit immigrantjustice.org
Welcoming America is a national, grassroots-driven collaborative that promotes mutual respect and cooperation between foreign-born and U.S.-born Americans. Through a countrywide network of member organizations and partners, Welcoming America works to promote a welcoming atmosphere – community by community – in which immigrants and native born residents can find common ground and shared prosperity. www.welcomingamerica.org
The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC)
The New York Immigration Coalition aims to achieve a fairer and more just society that values the contributions of immigrants and extends opportunity to all. The NYIC promotes immigrants' full civic participation, fosters their leadership, and provides a unified voice and a vehicle for collective action for New York's diverse immigrant communities. "Documented is an important American story of perseverance that exposes our broken, dysfunctional immigration system and shows how the US needlessly and painfully keeps apart the families of people like Jose Antonio Vargas," said Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition. "The New York Immigration Coalition is a proud Watch Partner for this film that aids us in telling real, human stories of how immigration impacts us all. We will continue to use this film as a advocacy tool to push forward our policy priorities, including demanding that Congress to pass immigration reform." www.thenyic.org
Mi Familia vota Education Fund (MFVEF)
Mi Familia Vota Education Fund (MFVEF) is a national non-profit organization working to unite the Latino community and its allies to promote social and economic justice through increased civic participation. http://www.mifamiliavota.us
The Lower East Side Tenement Museum
The Tenement Museum preserves and interprets the history of immigration through the personal experiences of the generations of newcomers who settled in and built lives on Manhattan's Lower East Side, America's iconic immigrant neighborhood; forges emotional connections between visitors and immigrants past and present; and enhances appreciation for the profound role immigration has played and continues to play in shaping America's evolving national identity. http://www.tenement.org
American Jewish Committee (AJC)
AJC is the global advocate for the well-being of the Jewish people and for the advancement of democratic values for all. AJC promotes a fair and just immigration policy consistent with our position that a strong America is vital for global freedom and security.http://www.ajc.org
The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience
The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience is the only worldwide network dedicated to transforming places that preserve the past into dynamic spaces that promote civic action. Through powerful programs that bring people together across difference, the Coalition is building the global movement to connect past to present, memory to action. "For six years, Sites of Conscience have held community dialogues on immigration in cities across the U.S. Documented resonates for our sites and our visitors – highly personal, intensely compelling – a work that can foster the types of conversations we so desperately need to have." For more info visit www.sitesofconscience.org
Next Day Better
We are a culture platform that builds and activates diaspora communities to create a better future. We believe that diasporas like the Philippines global community are hubs and inspirations for social innovation, incredible design, and world changing ideas. We bring these doers and change makers together to share their stories and make the next day better. Co-Founder Ryan Letada says, "we all have something at stake in this conversation. Whether you are a startup entrepreneur or creative artists – documented or undocumented – our stories are interconnected in creating a better future for America and beyond." http://www.nextdaybetter.com
Guerrero Yee LLP
Rio Guerrero is a founding partner of the immigration law firm Guerrero Yee LLP based in New York City. He is renowned for over 15 years of successfully representing companies, organizations and individuals with complicated U.S. visa, work permit and green card matters. In 2012, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association presented Rio with a coveted "Best Lawyers" national award. He has also received numerous other awards recognizing his work as an attorney and his commitment to serving the Filipino-American and greater Asian-Pacific-American communities. This past year, as the Chair of the Immigration Committee of the National Filipino American Lawyers Association he helped form and lead the "Relief 2 Recovery" national coalition advocating for Temporary Protected Status for the Philippines. When he is not working, Rio enjoys time with his wife and two young children. www.guerreroyee.com
A social news network where stories inspire community engagement and digitally fuelled actions for social change. Rappler comes from the root words "rap" (to discuss) + "ripple" (to make waves). http://www.rappler.com
The Black Institute
The mission of The Black Institute is to shape intellectual discourse and dialogue and impact public policy uniquely from a Black perspective (a perspective which includes all people of color in the United States and throughout the Diaspora). The Black Institute will translate the "think" in think-tank into "action" through a head, heart and feet strategy: the head being research, data gathering, polling and academic partnerships; the heart being civic education, training and development; and the feet being on the ground organizing and issue based campaigns. The Black Institute will change the discourse of public debate, train and educate new leadership and develop initiatives to build wealth, build power and deliver justice to Black people. http://www.theblackinstitute.org
CultureStrike is a national initiative to produce visual, written, video and other works to educate the public about the devastating effects of our nation's policies toward immigrants, while mobilizing communities to fight discriminatory immigration laws nationwide. http://culturestrike.net
Ascend Educational Fund
Ascend Educational Fund is a nonprofit built to enable students of exceptional promise to reach their full potential through higher education. Regardless of ethnicity, national origin or immigration status, we envision every exceptional student in New York City as having the same educational and professional opportunities. ascendfundny.org
La Casita Center of Louisville
La Casita Center works to enhance the health and well-being of Louisville's Hispanic/Latino community through a network of women's groups engaged in education, empowerment, advocacy, wellness and mutual support. http://www.lacasitacenter.org
Sowers of Justice Network
Shaped in the light of the Gospel teachings of Jesus, Sowers of Justice is a broad coalition of churches and individuals working for social justice through nonviolent action. Through networking, organizing, education, and advocacy they seek to engage local, national, and global issues of economic justice, human rights for all, racial justice, environmental integrity, and peace. http://www.sowersofjusticenetwork.org
About Define American
Define American, founded by Jose Antonio Vargas in 2011, is a media and culture campaign using the power of story to transcend politics and shift conversation around immigration, identity, and citizenship in America. You can learn more at www.defineamerican.com