Press Release

Capitol Forum Brings US Policy Issues to Students Beyond the Classroom

CHICAGO, IL- August 23, 2012— Illinois teachers, from both private and public schools, are invited to apply now and be part of a year-long civic education initiative that is meant to broaden their student’s understanding of human rights issues both within the classroom and into the larger world beyond.  

Applications for The Capitol Forum on America’s Future, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council are now being accepted through September 28, 2012. The year-long program will culminate with a public forum on Thursday, April 11, 2013 at Illinois University in Normal Illinois.   

In existence since 1999, this year’s program will focus on the theme, “Competing Visions of Human Rights: Questions for U.S. Policy. Guided by their social studies teachers, students will read, analyze, and discuss case studies around this theme, through curriculum materials provided by the Choices Program at Brown University. Each school will then choose delegates to represent them at the Forum event, where they will deliberate these case studies, meet with various guest experts, engage in a human rights simulation, and design a final outreach project to be completed by students in their classrooms. 

Last year, six schools participated, coming from places such as Eureka, Park Ridge, Peoria, Newark, and Normal, IL; this continued success and partnership with Illinois University is what the program hopes to build off of for the coming year, as well as ensuring the program has an impact on students and teachers alike.

“I think it was a great experience and I am so glad my school attended. The discussion groups were honestly so great…because people brought up points that never even crossed my mind and it made me a lot more aware of the world around me,” mentioned a senior from Maine Township High School in Park Ridge, IL after attending in 2012.    

Educators across Illinois teaching classes in History, Government, World Affairs, International Relations, Civics, Economics and American Studies are ideal candidates for this program. Curriculum materials are provided free of charge, and educators can decide how much or how little is appropriate for their classroom situation. Applications are being accepted now through September 28. Application materials and more information on the program is available by visiting the Illinois Humanities Council website at, or by contacting Carole Cosimano, Capitol Forum coordinator, at (312) 422.5580 or by email at with the subject line: Capitol Forum.  

About the Illinois Humanities Council  

The Illinois Humanities Council is an independent, nonprofit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. The IHC creates programs and funds organizations that promote greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. The IHC is supported by state, federal, and private funds.

Media Contact:
Carlos Velázquez
(312) 422-5580, x233 

Program Contact:
Carole Cosimano

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