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Philosophy, engaged.

We regularly partner with K-12 schools, community colleges, libraries, prisons, juvenile justice facilities, museums, professional organizations, retirement communities, and other community venues and campus units to offer philosophy and ethics programming to the public. Our volunteers include UNC undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty from the Department of Philosophy. We are motivated by the conviction that philosophical activity contributes to a flourishing and autonomous life by helping us to develop a sense of ourselves and the world around us through reflection on our beliefs and values. We also believe that the skills and dispositions cultivated by philosophical inquiry are integral to a flourishing civic sphere.

Program Aims & History

UNC-Chapel Hill’s Philosophy Department has a longstanding tradition of outreach and community engagement, dating back at least to 1979 when Maynard Adams founded Carolina Public Humanities (then called the Program in the Humanities and Human Values), which aimed to promote a culture of engagement within the humanities and to share the intellectual resources of the University with the community. Over the years, doctoral students and faculty members in philosophy were active in the program’s efforts to bring philosophical and humanistic reflection into schools and communities. In the early 2000s, Adam’s tradition of engaged philosophy received a welcome infusion of support that led to the creation of the present-day Outreach Program in Philosophy. In 2012 the Department and the Parr Center for Ethics together established the directorship as a permanent position, a reflection of their commitment to stable and lasting community partnerships.

The aim of our Outreach Program is to use the Philosophy Department’s and the Parr Center’s intellectual resources (1) to help people in the community think carefully and clearly about a broad range of ideas, commitments, and practices that shape their lives, (2) to expand the scope and breadth of philosophical and ethical inquiry by bringing new voices into the fold, and (3) to promote the university’s mission to produce and disseminate knowledge for the public good.


2023-2024 Outreach Fellows

Aurora Yu

Aurora Yu

Intergenerational Outreach Fellow
Read Aurora's Bio

Aurora is a fourth-year graduate student in the Philosophy Department with interests primarily in Early Modern Philosophy, Ancient Greek Philosophy, Moral Theory, and 20th century Continental Philosophy. She is charged with planning, overseeing, and helping to deliver Intergenerational Colloquia Series for older adults in the Chapel Hill area.


Dashiell Shulman

Dashiell Shulman

K-12 Schools Outreach Fellow
Read Dash's Bio

Dash is a first-year PhD student in Philosophy. As the K-12 Schools Outreach Fellow, Dash will oversee and implement a number of grant-funded programs centered on promoting ethical reflection among middle and high school students.


Heidi Segars

Undergraduate Assistant for Program Assessment & Evaluation Fellow
Read Heidi's Bio

Heidi is a junior from Raleigh, NC studying Neuroscience and Psychology with a minor in Education. As an Ethics Fellow in the EthicsEd pod, she is passionate about incorporating ethical conversations into various educational spaces. She is excited to combine her interests in psychology research and ethics outreach to assess the efficacy of Parr Center programming, both on and off campus.