WE Day Illinois returns to the Allstate Arena to celebrate young people committed to making a difference. Bringing together over 15,000 students and teachers from across the state who’ve created a lasting difference in the local and global communities. The inspiring youth empowerment event features renowned speakers, innovative thought leaders and dynamic performers including WE co-founders and international activists, Craig Kielburger and Marc Kielburger, co-hosts Karan Brar, Miles Brown, Bailee Madison and Marcus Scribner, alongside Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Allstate Foundation Good Starts Young Ambassador Monique Coleman, Rupi Kaur, Elaine Welteroth and more.
“I’m so encouraged by the young people at WE Day Illinois who know they’re never too young to make a difference, their positive energy is so special,” says actress, producer and advocate, Bailee Madison. “Today, we celebrate a community coming together to make the world a better place and I’m grateful to be a part of something huge that inspires people to do good.”
Students in attendance at WE Day Illinois didn’t buy a ticket. They earned their way by taking action on one local and one global cause of their choice. More than a one-day event, WE Day is connected to the free, yearlong program WE Schools. Designed to enhance a school or community’s existing social initiatives or spark new ones, WE Schools provides participants with curriculum, educational resources and action campaigns, encouraging students to further their curricular learning and develop life skills to succeed beyond the classroom.
“WE Day celebrates the 225,000 Illinois students working to eradicate bullying, hunger, pollution and other societal problems. We need to fuel their passion and drive so young people can help us build a better world.” said Tom Wilson, Allstate’s Chair, President and Chief Executive Officer.
In the 2017/2018 school year, over 850 schools and youth groups across Illinois improved the world through WE Schools, volunteering over 685,000 hours and raising more than $550,000 in support of over 385 global and local causes including homelessness, food security, access to education and the environment.
Speakers and performers at WE Day Illinois will energize the crowd through a day filled with powerful educational speeches, inspirational moments and empowering performances. A few must-see highlights include:
- NBA’s All-Time Leading Scorer, New York Times best-selling author and columnist, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, empowers youth to break down barriers and move past obstacles to create the change you want to see in the world.
- Poet, artist and performer Rupi Kaur performs a spoken word piece Broken English
- Recording artist and songwriter, Bishop Briggs performs her hits The Way I Do and River
“As we celebrate another year of creating lasting change, I’m thrilled to be a part of WE Day Illinois to recognize and applaud the work of the thousands of incredible young leaders,” said Craig Kielburger, co-founder of WE.
“Each student and teacher has challenged themselves to give back in remarkable ways and we are honored to provide them with the tools to achieve their yearlong social action goals,” said Craig Kielburger, co-founder of WE. “From tackling the stigma surrounding mental health to fundraising to improve access to clean water in overseas communities, today’s young change-makers are more fearless than ever when it comes to taking action on timely issues. Their unwavering commitment to doing good never ceases to inspire me and all of us here today to support them.”
The WE Day inspiration continues beyond the day through WE Day Connect, a free 90-minute interactive online event powered by Microsoft and The Allstate Foundation. Transcending geographical barriers, WE Day Connect unites tens of thousands of students and educators from across the globe to celebrate and learn from one another’s service actions. WE Day Connect takes place on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 1 p.m. ET/ 10 a.m. PT. Visit WE.org/wedayconnect to learn more.