WE Day, the world’s largest youth empowerment event, announced today the initial lineup of powerful speakers and performers attending WE Day Illinois on April 25, 2018, at The Allstate Arena.
Alongside title sponsor The Allstate Foundation and other sponsors, WE Day Illinois brings together 15,000 local youth who have made a difference in their communities for a life-changing experience celebrating the power of social change.
Now in its fourth year, WE Day Illinois will bring together speakers, presenters and performers including Rasheda Ali, Ally Brooke, Celebrity Marauders, Lonnie Chavis, Monique Coleman, GRAMMY Award winner Daya, Jordan Fisher, Chris Gardner, Former Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard, Anthony Gonzalez, Laurie Hernandez, Jack & Jack, Skai Jackson, Kenyan Boys Choir, Jason Mayden, Johnny Orlando, Jenna Ortega, Dr. Jacqueline Sanderlin, Becky Savage, Myreanna Smith, Esera Tuaolo, Margaret Trudeau, Cleo Wade, Spencer West and more. This dynamic lineup will join international activists and WE co-founders, Marc and Craig Kielburger as they share their passion for change, energize the crowd and motivate young people to continue to take action on pressing issues and make positive change in their communities.
“In every community in our country, young people are working to make the world better. We must encourage and support them to pursue their ideas and to believe in themselves,” said Tom Wilson, WE Day Illinois Co-Chair and Allstate’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “WE Day celebrates the 214,000 Illinois youth who make a difference through the WE Schools program.”
WE Day Illinois brings together students and educators from over 500 schools across the state, with more than half of attendees coming from Chicago Public Schools.
“I’m so excited to return to the WE Day stage in Illinois! This is my fifth WE Day and it’s always amazing to see young people support each other as they work together to make a real difference in the world,” said Jordan Fisher, actor, recording artist and recent champion of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. “Big or small, these kids are following their dreams and I’m proud to be part of a day that celebrates their hard work.”
Community Impact Through WE
During the 2016/2017 school year, schools and student-led groups across Illinois volunteered more than 509,000 hours and raised over $1.2 million in support of 265 local and global causes such as hunger, homelessness, bullying, education and literacy.
The students of the “EmpoWEred” group at Morgan Park High School are an example of how making small changes can bring a positive impact to the local community as they volunteer their time at a local retirement home and the Chicago Food Depository as part of the WE Schools campaign, WE Volunteer Now. In addition to their work in the community, they are devoted to an ongoing passion project—an art piece that spells out the word “refugee,” with each letter decorated with a different theme. The final creation will be unveiled at a school-wide campaign, WE Are Silent, where students take a vow of silence to shine a light on young people fighting for their basic human rights and stand together as one.
“This is a generation that is tuned-in to the needs of their community. WE Day demonstrates their commitment to choosing hope, optimism, empathy and courage over fear, division, apathy and intolerance,” said Craig Kielburger. “We are honored to celebrate these 15,000 young people who come from over 500 schools and youth groups across Illinois, joining together to make a difference and proving you are never too young to change the world.”
About WE Schools
More than a one-day event, WE Day is connected to the free, yearlong service learning educational program WE Schools. The program provides schools and community groups with curriculum, educational resources and action campaigns, and is designed to enhance a school’s existing social initiatives or spark new ones. WE Schools encourages students to further their learning and develop life skills for success beyond the classroom. A global movement of 3.8 million young people strong, youth involved with WE have raised $25 million for more than 7,220 local and global organizations, volunteered 8.9 million hours for social causes and collected over 2.6 million pounds of food.
About WE Day
You can’t buy a ticket to WE Day — students from across the country earn their way by taking action on one local and one global cause of their choice through the WE Schools program. WE Day is free of charge to students and teachers, thanks to the generous support of The Allstate Foundation. Through its Good Starts Young initiative, The Allstate Foundation empowers youth with the strength, confidence and skills to step up as leaders and achieve success in their lives.
WE Day is supported in Illinois by Co-Chairs Tom Wilson, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Allstate; Alex Gourlay, President, Walgreens; Arne Duncan, Managing Partner, Emerson Collective and Former U.S. Secretary of Education; and Linda Imonti, National Partner in Charge, Advisory Office Leaders and Chicago Advisory Office Leader, KPMG LLP. In the U.S., WE Day is supported by Tom Wilson, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Allstate; Jane Francisco, Editorial Director of Hearst Lifestyle Group and Editor-in-Chief of Good Housekeeping; Brett Tollman, CEO, The Travel Corporation; and Steve Robinson, CEO and Founder, Zilliance and Janet Crown, CEO, Burn 60 Studios.