Press Release


Illinois High School Students Head to State Capitol for International Civic Education Program. Students Also Take Part in Presidential Straw Poll.

Thursday, March 6, 2008, 6:00-9:00 p.m.

Friday, March 7, 2008, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

**Presidential Straw Poll at 8:30 a.m. (Approximately)**

Live deliberation in House Chamber from 1:00 to 3:15 p.m. (Approximately).


(March 6)

University of Illinois, Springfield

Public Affairs Center

Conference Rooms C and D

University of Illinois at Springfield

One University Plaza


(March 7)

Illinois State Capitol House Chamber

WHAT: On March 7, Guest policy makers meet with student delegates to deliberate international issues. Guests include:

  • Dr. Christopher Jones, Associate Professor of Political Science and Dept. Chair, Northern Illinois University
  • Marie Tipsord, Attorney to Chair of the Illinois Pollution Control Board
  • Dr. Stephen Schwark, Director, International Studies Program, University of Illinois, Springfield
  • Ross Harano, CEO, U.S. International Logistics Center
  • Michael Jarecki , Attorney, U.S. Immigration Service

WHAT: 9th Annual Illinois Capitol Forum on America’s Future: A live deliberation between high school students concerning our nation’s role in a changing international climate, addressing such issues as the environment, terrorism, global trade, nuclear proliferation and immigration. More than 130 Illinois students will gather on the State House floor to craft their own vision for America’s future, the results of which are shared with elected officials and policymakers on local and state levels.

Through the assistance of the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, Capitol Forum will be streamed live on the internet This will enable high school social studies classrooms across the state to experience this dynamic program as it happens in the House Chamber.

WHO: High school students and Social Studies teachers from the following Illinois schools:

  • Astoria High School, Astoria
  • Carl Schurz High School, Chicago
  • Farragut Career Academy, Chicago
  • East Peoria Community High School, East Peoria
  • SIUE-East St. Louis Charter School, East St. Louis
  • Eureka High School, Eureka
  • Homewood-Flossmoor High School, Flossmoor
  • Geneva Community High School, Geneva
  • Alden-Hebron High School, Hebron
  • Lockport Township High School, Lockport
  • Bureau Valley High School, Manlius
  • Carmel Catholic High School, Mundelein
  • Newark High School, Newark
  • Normal Community West High School, Normal
  • Maine East High School, Park Ridge
  • Maine South High School, Park Ridge
  • Pontiac Township High School, Pontiac
  • Quincy Junior High School, Quincy
  • Streamwood High School, Streamwood

BACKGROUND: The Illinois Humanities Council, along with the Secretary of State’s Office, presents the ninth Illinois Capitol Forum on America’s Future. The program, coordinated nationally by the Choices for the 21st Century Education Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute of International Studies, is intended to lay a foundation for student awareness of contested international issues, and for civic engagement.

Illinois is one of seven states chosen by Brown University to participate in its Choices initiative.

This year’s Capitol Forum was sponsored in part by a grant from the McCormick Tribune Foundation (MTF). The MTF grant helped supply materials and resources for teachers and accommodations and transportation for students.

The Illinois Humanities Council is an educational organization dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. Through its programs and grants, the IHC promotes greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. Organized as a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1973, the IHC is now a private nonprofit (501 [c] 3) organization that is funded by contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations; by the Illinois General Assembly; and by the NEH.


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