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Our country is experiencing a seismic shift in our very identity, and the root of that change, as ever, is immigration. Join Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas on a historic campaign to power a new media that reflects America’s diversity. When you back #EmergingUS, every dollar you give is doubled.

  • 28%funded
    so far
  • 62days
  • $283,760raised
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This project is no longer accepting pledges
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At $1,000,000 Jose Antonio Vargas can produce journalism that creates impact.

Our country is changing.

We’re used to conversations about race in Black and White, but a new America is emerging – one that is more multiethnic, more immigrant, more colorful than ever before. In the next 50 years, immigrants and their descendants, largely Latinos and Asians, will make up 88 percent of U.S. population growth. Immigration, yet again, is at the root of our country’s transformation.

But the public space where we tell our stories – the media – isn’t keeping up. The coverage we see about race, immigration, and identity only begins to answer the question of who we are as a nation.

As our country’s demographics shift, we also need to change the way we talk about ourselves. There are too many readers, too many voters – too many people – whose stories are not being told. And, too often, when the stories are told, they lack the necessary nuance and context.

We cannot talk about America being a country of immigrants without acknowledging the struggle of Black Americans and Native Americans. We cannot emphasize our commonality without first confronting what makes our experiences different.

The survival of this emerging America requires that we see each other fully, and more humanely.

We are creating a new media for this new America.

In our trailer, which you can watch below, you’ll see a small sample of the kinds of stories we want to share. Watch it below – and help us tell these stories.

We’ve already started working – we have original videos, essays, articles, and infographics. But we need your help to make the platform a reality and to keep finding and telling these stories.

Since our founder Jose Antonio Vargas came out as an undocumented immigrant nearly five years ago, he has traveled to 46 states and spoken at hundreds of events. He’s seen that, despite polarizing coverage in the media, Americans are far more alike than we are different.

That insight is critical in an election year in which immigration has become a defining issue. The decisions we make in 2016 will set the course for how we treat immigrants in America for years to come. And yet, we can’t talk about immigration without talking about Black Lives Matter, women’s rights, the LGBTQ community, religious liberty, income inequality among all races, et cetera.

When #EmergingUS launches, we’ll share stories from:

  • Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, the co-founders of #BlackLivesMatter, who appear together on camera to describe the origins of this modern-day civil rights movement

  • Americans who explain their complex relationships to the race categories on the U.S. Census – who has a box and who doesn’t? Are the boxes we check accurate?

  • Immigrants who respond to Donald Trump’s policy of re-admitting the “good immigrants” to America after his proposed mass deportation. Who gets to be a “good immigrant,” and who gets to decide?

But none of this happens without you.

We believe that people like you, not advertisers or media executives, should determine the stories we cover and how we cover them.

Our editorial independence is especially important to us. We need to be able to tell these stories no matter how controversial they are or how uncomfortable they make us. That independence is expensive. That’s why we need you to help fund #EmergingUS.

We’ll use your funding to hire multimedia reporters, more producers, and editors, and get us to a place where we can launch this site with a steady stream of original content to reshape the media landscape.

When you back this project, you are not just giving a few dollars. You are counting yourself among Americans who demand a better kind of media that more accurately reflects our identity at this pivotal time in history. Your voices and your funding will make this platform a success.

Here’s our promise to you:

  • While politicians dismiss and demean immigrants, #EmergingUS will tell the stories of who these immigrants are and how their lives are connected to ours.

  • When big-name media outlets post headlines and share sound bites that bait you into debates, #EmergingUS will encourage all of us to have real conversations about real issues.

  • When influential people blame “minority groups” for all of our country’s challenges, #EmergingUS will examine why.

We will look not only at politics, but the economic, cultural, and historical motivations behind them.

Here’s what you’ll get in exchange:

  • You’re a lifetime member of #EmergingUS. As a backer, you’ll have a standing invitation to our events – both digital and in the real world – and we’ll give you a sneak peek of the interviews, films, and stories we have in the works. Throughout the crowdfunding campaign, we’ll also give you ways to get involved and spread the word.

  • You’re changing the media. #EmergingUS isn’t funded by the same old massive media companies that have steered the news for decades. It’s funded by people like you. That means we’re free to tell stories that everyone else is ignoring. We’re not here to represent advertisers or corporations – we are here to represent you.

  • You’re changing society, too. The journalism from #EmergingUS is going to put a spotlight on honest, illuminating, and sometimes uncomfortable dialogues. We’ll get people to think differently about issues, and when they do, we’ll make sure politicians take notice.

  • You’ll get access to rewards and gifts to show off your support. Get the #EmergingUS t-shirt and access to other exclusive content.

  • Your pledge will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Beacon. That means that every dollar you pledge goes twice as far toward helping us launch.

Spread the word! Here are a few stats to start the conversation.

Help us re-make the mainstream with your pledge today. And if you need any help convincing a few friends to join, here are some statistics and figures that might surprise them:

  • White Americans are an emerging racial minority in many parts of the country; White students became a minority in K-12 public schools for the first time during the 2014-2015 school year.

  • Latinos are now the country’s largest racial and ethnic minority group, numbering 54 million. In California, 51 percent of all people age 25 and under are Latino. And as California goes, so goes the country.

  • Asians and Pacific Islanders, numbering 18 million, are the fastest-growing racial and immigrant group. Almost 75% of all Asian adults in the U.S. are immigrants.

  • The U.S. is home to the largest population of biracial and multiracial people in the world. 1 in 6 new marriages in America are interracial.

We’re starting a digital media platform dedicated to us – the emerging us – the America that we are right now becoming.

Help us make history. Support #EmergingUS today.

Debra Palmer April 18 at 8:49 pm

I like honest journalism. I like both sides of a story so I can make a decision how I feel about the situation. Thanks for trying to make this happen.

Johanna Maska April 18 at 8:47 pm

I support journalism. Journalism that questions why, how, when. That asks more than traditional sources for points of view. That asks us all how we can be better together.

Shannon D. Smith April 18 at 7:11 pm

We need serious and engaging reporting!

Marita C Etcubanez April 18 at 5:55 pm

Not only do we need more people from all backgrounds to share their stories, we need platforms to tell and broadcast those stories. Thanks for all that you do, Jose and team!

K Johnson April 18 at 5:27 pm

West High School in Iowa City

Virginia Lear April 18 at 4:48 pm

Jose, this is important because you are breaking barriers everyday. This is another new thing that you are doing to help everyone- those who live with the challenges you define so well, and those who want to understand them. Best wishes every day in every way! Ginny & King

Astrid Raimondo April 18 at 4:34 pm

Because I confront these realities in my advertising job everyday.

Joe Humphrey April 18 at 4:06 pm

Thanks for your incredible work and the speech at JEA/NSPA last week. This donation is for Hillsborough High School in Tampa, Florida.

Cookie Parker April 18 at 3:38 pm

I think this work is important because more journalistic focus should be given to the Rising American Electorate.

Katrina Chan April 18 at 3:00 pm

Every American story needs to be told. Thanks for all the important work you and your team are doing, Jose Antonio Vargas!

Misela Esquivel April 18 at 7:02 am

Because I need media that represents me and my family. Not what the major networks decide I should have.

Hon. Delia Garcia April 18 at 5:58 am

Jose Antonio- Te Amo! I support you & Thank You for this powerful service to our American community!

Heather B April 18 at 5:54 am

I find myself reading between the lines when listening to/watching/reading the news. Sometimes it’s a little blurry to do that, and I know it’s influenced by my own bias and perspective. I am hopeful that this will prove to be a source that gives me an honest and broader perspective of news that will broaden my experience and clarify those lines between the current newslines.

Laura Casas Frier April 18 at 5:10 am

In the United States, immigration is the greatest human rights issue of our time. Let us unify and work together not divide and vilify children and hard working people who help make the United States strong. Jose Antonio Vargas is the voice of many for a united and better future.

Laura Casas

George Gathiani April 18 at 4:00 am

I too come from a country where the stories of real people go untold and I have watched as their lives and their issues have gone ignore in the process. I believe in the overwhelming power of the media to change this and am working towards getting involved in the media in my own way but until then I’ll give the little I can towards helping projects that are out there doing it.

Heather Holdridge April 18 at 3:32 am

It’s time to bring these stories into the spotlight.

Steve L April 18 at 3:20 am


Reynol Cuellar April 18 at 2:22 am

this stories are important because people in the United States should know that this country has a lot of different cultures and traditions and by this project it going to make people aware that we are all human and we should never judge anyone by there looks our were they from.

Ben Bronfman April 18 at 2:21 am

I support.

Prillie Chang April 18 at 2:12 am

I know this story is important because it is a reflection of one’s self, our society, and a testimony to human evolution. The minute we stop learning combined with the prevention of spreading humility is the moment we fail at everything we’ve strived for and the purpose of living. Thank you all for those who have diligently put this movement together.

Nicole Sanchez April 18 at 1:59 am

Jose’s is a voice we need right now. Anything we can do to amplify it will help bring us closer to justice for undocumented people.

Thao Ha April 18 at 1:50 am

I think this work is important because the Fourth Estate needs a shake up. Storytellers need to be freed from the ties of the profit machine and from the White, Eurocentric, Western Imperialist lenses. You’re a hero in storytelling, and your vision needs to come to fruition. Best wishes!

Ashley Nash Edited April 18 at 1:50 am

This story is important because it makes people think outside of themselves and their comfort zones. Also because Jenna is helping and I love Jenna.

Maya Baratz April 18 at 1:07 am

Proud to have you as a friend, Jose. The world needs more of you. - Maya Baratz Jordan

Madeline Ewles April 17 at 10:17 pm

I care about the team working on it!

Join me today for a Facebook Q&A

March 2 at 5:51 pm

Dear friends,

This is a first for me!

Join me today‪ at 2 PM ET‬ on the #EmergingUS Facebook page for a live Q&A about the work we are doing with #EmergingUS, as well as issues such as #OscarsSoWhite, #JournalismSoWhite, #NotYourMule, and more.


Thank you for supporting our mission.



The THANKS package
Thanks for helping us bring #EmergingUS to life! You’ll have our gratitude, and your funding will make a difference in helping us to portray a new America.
30 claimed
The CREDIT package
Back us at this level, and not only will you have our gratitude, but we’ll also give you credit on EmergingUS.com as a supporter!
40 claimed
We’ll give you a personalized social media badge for your Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram account that shows that you were “there from the beginning” for #EmergingUS.
179 claimed
The SNEAK PEEK package
Back us at $25 and we’ll send you a special link with a sneak peek to some of #EmergingUS’s first video features a few days before they go live!
154 claimed
The AUDIENCE package
In addition to everything above, we’ll send you a digital download link to Jose’s award-winning tour de force “Documented” film. “If you had told me a documentary could shift my mindset, I would have said you were crazy.” -Vivek Wadhwa, Washington Post
144 claimed
The TOTE & T-SHIRT package
Back us at this level, and you’ll get an #EmergingUS tote bag and t-shirt! But these aren’t just any tote bag and t-shirt, they’ll be designed by some of the most relevant emerging artists in America.
193 claimed
The TRIPLE package
In addition to the t-shirt AND tote bag, you’ll get a signed director’s cut special edition DVD copy of Jose’s film “Documented.” “Keep a box of tissues handy.” -Fatima Bhojani, Mother Jones
34 claimed
The LAUNCH PARTY package
You and a guest will get two VIP tickets to attend the #EmergingUS launch party in Los Angeles, CA, featuring a pop-up art installation including work from the Manifest: Justice gallery. Transportation and lodging not included.
35 claimed
In addition to the #EmergingUS t-shirt, tote bag and signed director’s cut special edition “Documented” DVD, you’ll receive a personal letter of thanks and gratitude from Jose with a special one-of-a-kind gift chosen just for you.
28 claimed
The SIGNED package
You’ll get the t-shirt, tote bag, signed “Documented” DVD and a SIGNED copy of the landmark issue of TIME Magazine featuring Jose Antonio Vargas and 35 other undocumented Americans in the groundbreaking cover story, “We Are Americans.” LIMITED to our final 60 copies as the issue is sold out.
19 of 60 claimed
Special Launch Reward: The ENTREPRENEUR package
Lunch with #EmergingUS founding team member Nicco Mele to talk about entrepreneurship and how to launch your new business idea. Nicco is a noted entrepreneur, angel investor and author of “The End of Big,” a best-selling book about the future. Nicco also loves poetry. Travel not included.
All gone!
1 of 1 claimed
You’ll get an invitation to an exclusive meet-and-greet with Jose, hosted in Washington, DC. We’ll be in touch with dates after the project closes. Transportation and lodging not included.
All gone!
1 of 1 claimed
You’ll get an invitation to an exclusive meet-and-greet with Jose, hosted in New York, NY. We’ll be in touch with dates after the project closes. Transportation and lodging not included.
All gone!
1 of 1 claimed
You’ll get an invitation to an exclusive meet-and-greet with Jose, hosted in San Francisco, CA. We’ll be in touch with dates after the project closes. Transportation and lodging not included.
All gone!
1 of 1 claimed
Jose, restauranteur Nicole Ponseca and chef Miguel Trinidad will host a lechon dinner for you you and five of your friends at a private residence in downtown Los Angeles, CA. Transportation and lodging not included.
All gone!
2 of 2 claimed
Special Launch Reward: The KAMAYAN package
Jose and restauranteur Nicole Ponseca will host a traditional Filipino Kamayan dinner party with you and five of your friends at Jeepney Gastropub, one of the hottest restaurants in New York, NY. Transportation and lodging not included.
All gone!
3 of 3 claimed
The SCREENING package
Jose will host an in-person screening of his provocative MTV film “White People” and facilitate a conversation afterward for you and your guests. “We’ll bring the popcorn, you bring your friends.” Travel not included.
All gone!
5 of 5 claimed
Note: All pledges are in USD.

Jose Antonio Vargas BIOGRAPHY

Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, filmmaker and undocumented immigrant whose work centers on the changing American identity. He is the founder of Define American, a non-profit media and culture organization that seeks to elevate the conversation around immigration and citizenship in America, and the founder and editor of #EmergingUS. During his 17-year career as a journalist, Vargas has written for The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, and many more. He has also produced and directed two films: “Documented,” chronicling his life as an undocumented immigrant, and “White People,” which aired on MTV last year about what it means to be young and white in contemporary America.

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