Press Release


High school students will debate and vote on solutions to current political problems in the Illinois State Capitol building.

CHICAGOThe Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) and Secretary of State Jesse White announce the 10th annual Illinois Capitol Forum on America’s Future on Friday, March 13, 2009 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Illinois State Capitol (301 N. 2nd St., Springfield). Student representatives from 22 high schools across Illinois will report on the international concerns of their classmates and engage in deeper analysis of alternative policy directions. Secretary of State Jesse White has also been invited to speak to the students.

A national initiative of the Choices for the 21st Century Education Program at the Watson Institute for International Studies of Brown University, Capitol Forum provides a curriculum and venue for students to actively participate in civic dialogue about U.S. foreign policy and fashion their own informed vision for the future of America. Teachers who participate in the program receive free curriculum materials and training to engage whole classes in consideration of major global issues.

Illinois is one of several states currently participating in Capitol Forum.   Teachers and students appreciate how the program encourages civic engagement, supports analytical thinking, and brings together young adults from across the state to listen, to deliberate, and to communicate. The program meets state standards for social studies.

Illinois schools participating in this year’s Forum are:

  • Alden-Hebron High School
  • Astoria High School:
  • Bureau Valley High School
  • East Peoria High School
  • Eureka High School
  • Geneva Community High School
  • Greenview High School
  • Judah Christian School
  • Lockport Township High School
  • Homewood-Flossmoor High School
  • Illini Central High School
  • Maine East High School
  • Maine South High School
  • Mt. Olive High School
  • Multicultural Arts High School
  • Newark High School
  • Normal Community West High
  • School
  • Pontiac Township High School
  • Quincy Jr. High School
  • Carl Schurz High School
  • SIU-E St. Louis Charter School
  • Streamwood High School

Capitol Forum, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council, is sponsored by Secretary of State Jesse White and funded in part by the McCormick Foundation. For more information on this program, call 312.422.5580 or visit

The Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) is a nonprofit educational organization (501 {c} 3) dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities.  Organized in 1973 as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the IHC creates programs and funds organizations that promote greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities. The IHC is supported by state, federal, and private funds.

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