Press Release

IHC Announces Illinois High Schools Participating in 2014 Capitol Forum

CHICAGO, IL- October 9, 2013— The Illinois Humanities Council has announced the list of fourteen schools whose students will analyze and debate a number of U.S. foreign policy issues with their social studies teachers, policy experts, and their peers from around the state. 

The Capitol Forum on America’s Future, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council, in partnership with Illinois State University, has named the high schools accepted into this year’s edition that culminates in a public Forum Thursday, April 10, 2014, at the Bone Student Center, Illinois State University in Normal, IL. 

In existence since 1999, the civic education initiative engages high school social studies with U.S. foreign policy issues, particularly those involving human rights, immigration and civil rights. Integrating these issues into their curriculum, social studies teachers will spend this school year guiding their students to read, analyze, and discussing specific case studies. The materials used in these classrooms are produced in partnership with the Choices Program at Brown University. 

“The Capitol Forum experience not only exposes our students to thought-provoking topics and experts but a variety of viewpoints from their peers from around the state,” mentioned Marty Green, a teacher at East Peoria High School. “I use the Choices program in my US history class to make history relevant to today’s events.”  

Preparations culminate into the public Capitol Forum, where each school sends delegates to deliberate these case studies, meet with various guest experts, engage in human rights simulations, and design a final outreach project completed by students in their classrooms. Said one student after last year’s Capitol Forum, “It was exhilarating to have the chance to interact with my peers and have intelligent discussions and debates about issues that actually matter.”   

The fourteen Illinois schools taking part in this year’s Capitol Forum are:

Normal Community High School, Normal

Maine East High School, Park Ridge

Homewood-Flossmoor High School, Flossmoor

Newark Community High School, Newark

East Peoria Community High School, East Peoria

Maine West High School, Des Plaines

Bloomington High School, Bloomington

Thornton Township High School, Harvey

Eureka High School, Eureka

Egyptian Community Unit School, Tamms

Normal Community West High School, Normal

Quincy Junior High School, Quincy

Streamwood High School, Streamwood

Pontiac Township High School, Pontiac

Three of the schools, Bloomington High School, Egyptian Community School, and Thornton Township High School, are participating for the first time.

The Illinois Capitol Forum on America’s Future will take place Thursday, April 10, 2014, at the Bone Student Center, Illinois State University, (100 N. University St.) in Normal, Illinois. For more information on Capitol Forum, please call Carole Cosimano at 312.422.5580 or visit

The Illinois Capitol Forum on America’s Future is funded by a generous grant from the McCormick Foundation. 

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