CHICAGO, April 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Through Allstate's support, the world's largest youth empowerment event of its kind, We Day, comes to Illinois for the first time today. The event brings together renowned talent Jennifer Hudson (We Day national co-chair), Common (We Day Illinois co-chair), Selena Gomez, Tyrese Gibson, The Band Perry, Colbie Caillat, Martin Sheen and others to inspire 15,000 students across the state to become leaders and global citizens. The all-day event will be hosted at the Allstate Arena.
Photos from the event will be available at http://www.weday.com/illinois-electronic-press-kit by 4 p.m. CST today.
This year alone, 200,000 young people will come together at We Day events in 14 cities across North America and the UK to take part in this unprecedented educational initiative. You can't buy a ticket to We Day. Young people earn them by taking action on one local cause and one global cause of their choice. More than a one-day event, We Day is connected to the year-long We Act program, which provides educational resources to help young people turn the day's inspiration into sustained action. Together, We Day and We Act form a blueprint for building the next generation of global citizens.
We Day Illinois is free to all the students and educators in attendance through the support of sponsors led by Allstate. Students across Illinois have spent months volunteering on issues ranging from bullying, homelessness and the environment to inner-city violence, which earned them their tickets to this event. We Day provides a platform for youth to learn more about today's most pressing social issues and to be inspired to take further action on causes they care about.
Joining the star-studded lineup will be motivational speakers and performers including international activitists and We Day co-founders, Craig and Marc Kielburger. We Day Illinois event co-chairs Allstate chairman and CEO Tom Wilson, and award-winning hip-hop artist, actor and founder of the Common Ground Foundation, Common, will also take the stage.
"We support empowering our youth to do good things in their communities," said Tom Wilson, chairman and CEO of Allstate. "Not only do they see the direct benefit of their work, they build the character, confidence and leadership skills necessary to achieve greater success in life. We brought We Day to Illinois to celebrate those who are a Force For Good. Our goal is to help these kids believe in themselves and feel the power of their collective voices," concluded Wilson.
"We Day is about inspiring and motivating youth to become leaders, in their local communities and in their global communities – by celebrating their work and encouraging them to take action," said Common, award-winning hip-hop artist, actor, founder of the Common Ground Foundation and co-chair of We Day Illinois. "I'm proud to be part of an event that makes a difference in the lives of others and honored that I get to support this movement in my hometown of Chicago."
"All of the students here have spent the last year earning their tickets," said We Day co-founder Craig Kielburger. "We Day is a celebration of service but the real work starts when these young people go back to their classrooms and communities, empowered to make a difference. Over 2,000 schools and groups across the United States are involved in our We Act program and these youth have been able to achieve remarkable change. Last year, over 31,000 students went silent for a total of over 198,000 hours to stand up for children in developing communities who are silenced by poverty and exploitation and over 460 schools collected over 440,670 pounds of food for local food banks."
The full lineup of acts taking the stage at We Day Illinois include: Common, Jennifer Hudson, Selena Gomez, Martin Sheen, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, The Band Perry, Colbie Caillat, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, Rico and Raini Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Hannah Simone, Marlee Matlin, Lt. Colonel Eileen Collins, Kweku Mandela, Dennis Haysbert, Tom Wilson, Craig and Marc Kielburger and Spencer West. Hi-res photos and bios are available here for download.
Joining them will be Ashley Rose Murphy, a 17-year-old HIV positive youth activist and motivational speaker, Mustafa The Poet, an 18-year-old poet, writer, actor and emcee, Ezra Frech, a nine-year-old athlete and motivational speaker and Ally Del Monte, a 16-year-old singer, songwriter, blogger and activist.
We Day is the movement of our time – a movement of young people leading local and global change. We Day celebrates and inspires this generation's shift from me to we – towards acting with intention, leading with compassion, and belief in the power of community. We Day and We Act are cause inclusive, empowering young people to find their passion and to create the change they want to see.
Moments from We Day Illinois will be captured in the first-ever U.S. national broadcast airing commercial free on Aug. 21, 2015 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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