Loyola University Maryland


Common Text Events

The Events listed below were associated with the 2020-2021 Common Text, Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen.   Events schedule for 2021-2022 will be added in August 2021 to this webpage.


Jose Antonio Vargas Common Text Keynote Advertisement for Thursday, March 18 at 7pm on Zoom

Thursday, March 18

Loyola Welcomes Jose Antonio Vargas, author of Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, the 2020-2021 Messina Common Text

Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and Tony-nominated producer. A leading voice for the human rights of immigrants, he founded the non-profit media advocacy organization Define American, named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company. In 2020, Fortune named him one of its “40 under 40” most influential people in government and politics. His best-selling memoir, Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, was published by HarperCollins in 2018. His second book, White Is Not a Country, will be published by Pantheon Books in 2023.

Recording Available Here

Previous Events & Event Recordings

Each year, the University chooses a Common Text for all first-year students to read before arriving at Loyola. In addition to discussing this Common Text with your academic advisor and other students enrolled in your Messina course during Welcome Weekend, Messina sponsors events throughout the year to address themes raised by the book.

Friday, August 28

Common Text Convocation

We welcome you, Loyola’s newest scholars-in-residence, to our intellectual community by examining a text common to all of us. During this session, members of our Loyola community will reflect on Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas.

Recording Available Here

Wednesday, September 30

Common Text Panel Presentation: Dear America and Ethnic Anti-racism

Representatives from organizations working on the US Border and with immigrant communities in the United States will discuss the intersections of immigration and racism in their daily work.

Recording Available Here

Sponsored by Messina
A Common Text event
7 p.m.

Thursday, October 22

The Refugee Crisis: Why So Many People Are on the Move and What We Can do About It – Lecture by Elizabeth Kullen Dunn, PhD., Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar

Today, more than 71 million people---a population larger than the population of France---are refugees, asylum seekers, or internally displaced people. Why are so many people displaced today, and why do the numbers keep skyrocketing? Can the UN system aid them, and what happens to the countries that host them? Most importantly, what can be done to help people start their lives again after displacement, rather than waiting in limbo? In this lecture, I will talk about the causes and effects of mass displacement, why attempts to help keep failing, and what can be done to help both displaced people and their host countries.

Recording Available Here

Week of November 16

Common Text Panel Presentation: Baltimore and Immigration

The panel will discuss the history of immigration in Baltimore and current efforts underway to welcome and support Baltimore’s newest residents. The panel will include Nick Fessenden (Baltimore Immigration Museum) and representatives from local organizations that serve the Baltimore immigrant community.

Recording Available Here

If you are a member of the Loyola community who has an idea for an event associated with the Common Text, please visit our co-sponsorships page and submit an event proposal.

Persons with disabilities who may require special services should contact the Office of Disability Support Services at 410-617-2062 at least 48 hours prior to the event. As noted below, some of these events are free and open to the public.

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