The third annual session of Humanities for Young People (HYP), happening at the University of King’s College from July 7 to 15, will culminate in a public symposium on migration featuring acclaimed writers Lawrence Hill and Doug Saunders.

“Recent attention to the migration crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border demonstrates the urgent need for public discussions about migration,” says King’s humanities professor and HYP Co-Director Dr. Laura Penny. “Canada prides itself on multiculturalism, having relatively open borders and being a country of immigrants. HYP 2018, and particularly the symposium, will examine migration in Canadian and global contexts.”

The free symposium happens at Halifax’s Central Library at 5440 Spring Garden Road from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, July 14 and is open to the public. Lawrence Hill will discuss his latest novel, The Illegal, which won Canada Reads 2016. Globe and Mail columnist Doug Saunders will discuss his latest book, Maximum Canada: Why 35 Million Canadians are Not Enough. HYP participants will then ask questions.

HYP is a King’s live-in summer program for teens that gives students a taste of university life. “It encourages their interests in literature, philosophy, history, politics, art and social issues,” explains Dr. Penny. This year, the focus all week is on migration and students will grapple with such questions as: What does it mean to leave home—and to belong? How can we help newcomers preserve aspects of their cultures of origin? What do we do when these cultural claims clash? How does one become ‘Canadian’?

“These are necessary conversations for Canadians to have, and perhaps most importantly our youth,” says Dr. Penny. “Having Lawrence Hill and Doug Saunders, two of Canada’s most thoughtful writers about this contentious issue, here to speak with the youth and the Halifax community, is a rare opportunity. We are sure it will be a dynamic discussion.”