#WEDay 2014

| October 27, 2014 | Comments (0)

258c1fbThe following is by part-time The Chicago Moms contributor and Chicago Dad, Craig Johnson. Craig is a native Chicagoan, a father and is currently a Communications and Social Media Consultant who specializes in Community outreach.

“We Day,” perhaps the world’s largest youth empowerment event, launched its expansion into the state of Illinois on October 14, 2014. The event took place at Chicago’s Farragut Career Academy, which hosted close to 700 students representing 16 public and private schools. The students earned their place at the launch event through prior community service or other service learning activities. International charity and educational partner, Free The Children, has two signature programs: We Act and We Day. Allstate is the National Co-Title Sponsor of We Day and We Act across the United States.

Following a short pep rally featuring a live DJ and teens dancing in the auditorium to contemporary music, Craig Kielburger, “We Day” co-founder and Allstate CEO Tom Wilson, who serves as the Illinois co-chair, opened the event and described the mission and vision to the audience of middle and high school youth. Rondayle Sanders was the day’s youth speaker. He and another student are 6th graders at Bradwell School of Excellence in South Shore, where they wrote an open letter to news media regarding a shooting in their neighborhood last year. The videotaped essay garner attention from NPR, the Chicago SunTimes and other news outlets. In addition, three New Trier Township High School students—Elizabeth McKenna, Lulu Eshuis, and Eva Kirie–were among the youth speakers. As part of their school’s service learning initiative, the girls raised $8,000 through a water facts campaign. Proceeds benefitted water projects in Barind, India. Other special guest speakers included Spencer West, a motivational speaker who inspired the world by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in his wheelchair and on his hands; Chicago Bears offensive tackle Michael Ola; filmmaker and grandson of Nelson Mandela, Kweku Mandela; and civil rights activist and global humanitarian Martin Luther King III. The students were also treated to special video remarks from this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, Pretty Little Liars actress Shay Mitchell, and award-winning actress, musician, and Illinois co-host Jennifer Hudson.

 

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Next Spring, “We Day” will officially be celebrated on April 30, 2015 at the Allstate Arena, where 15,000 Illinois youth and teachers from 500 schools statewide will convene for the global youth empowerment event, which will feature celebrity performers, world leaders and social activist are expected to encourage and inspire their activism, as well as recognize their accomplishments. According to a press release, “You can’t buy a ticket to We Day—students from across the state will earn their way by taking action on one local and one global cause of their choice through the We Act program. The program provides educational resources and campaigns to help young people turn the day’s inspiration into sustained action.

Since its inception in 2007, We Day has become a global charitable cause inspiring a generation of young leaders to move the needle on pressing local and global issues by creating the change they want to see in the world. Youth involved in “We Act” have raised $45 million for more than 1,000 local and global causes. Additionally, tens of millions of hours have been contributed through volunteerism and community activism. For more information about “We Day,” visit www.weday.com, follow @weday on Twitter/instagram, or check out www.facebook.com/WeDay.

 

 

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About Dwana: Dwana authors a few blogs, is a full-time officer of the court and mom to two wonderful young men and two dogs. You can find her rants, advice for healthy living and Chicago tips at: "Healthier, Happier, You!", Chicagonista.com, TheChicagoMoms.com & ChicagonistaLIVE.com View author profile.

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