HYPE 2016 Statewide Conference at UNH
For the past eight years, the Souhegan High School Ethics Forum has taken the lead on organizing the statewide conference HYPE (Hosting Young Philosophy Enthusiasts), founded by SHS Ethics Forum students in 2009. More than 700 high school students attended the 2015 conference held at UNH Durham and as many as 1,000 students from New Hampshire and northern New England are anticipated for HYPE 2016.
The day of student-led Socratic discussion will be held at UNH Durham on Thursday March 17, 2016. HYPE 2016 will center on the issue of freedom of expression and will feature three Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonists and two scholars who will offer their insights on "Can't Take a Joke? The Transformative and Incendiary Power of the Editorial Cartoon." (Read more about the Hype Panelists.)
HYPE 2016 is being offered in partnership with New Hampshire Humanities as part of the Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires Initiative, a joint venture of the Pulitzer Prizes Board and the Federation of State Humanities Council in celebration of the 2016 centennial of the Prizes. The initiative seeks to illuminate the impact of journalism and the humanities on American life today, to imagine their future and to inspire new generations to consider the values represented by the body of Pulitzer Prize-winning work.
HYPE has inspired high school students all over New England, allowing them to participate in Socratic seminars that promote leadership and ethics-based conversations within the framework of philosophical inquiry. Two years ago, the Forum was awarded a renewable prestigious RGSCP (Responsible Governance and Sustainability Citizenship Project) Grant from UNH Durham to fund HYPE. This grant has led to the UNH philosophy department's support of the Ethics Forum and the use of UNH Durham's campus each year. It has also led to the affiliation of HYPE with UNH's emerging summer philosophy program called FLI or The Future Leaders Institute.
The Ethics Forum was also awarded the 2014 Granite State Award by the NH University System for the group's "dedication to creating an academically rich environment for New Hampshire students to connect through philosophical discussions". This statewide recognition has not gone unnoticed by universities, colleges and high schools throughout New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Besides its largest sponsor UNH Durham, the Ethics Forum continues to build a strong coalition of post-secondary institutional support including Granite State College, Merrimack College, Saint Anselm College, and UNH Manchester. The Souhegan Ethics Forum has also constructively created working relationships with many high schools in the region centering on the mission of enhancing leadership, ethics and philosophy education. Manchester West High School and Spaulding High School have become actively involved in leading HYPE's Socratic seminars as a result of these efforts and the Forum continues to add to its coalition of participating schools including Bedford, Bishop Guertin, Coe-Brown, Concord, Dover, Farmington, Goffstown, Kittery (Maine), Manchester Memorial, Mascoma, Merrimack, Milford, Nashua North, Noble (Maine), Oyster River, Raymond, Sanborn and Sanford (Maine). The Ethics Forum Senior Leadership Team has been instrumental in uniting these universities, colleges and high schools towards an important goal—bringing high school students together to have important philosophical conversations centered on ethics and leadership.