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Common "Ain't Nobody Smiling" Common “Ain’t Nobody Smiling”

CHICAGO, April 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Today, We Day, the stadium-sized youth empowerment event announced that it will be coming to Illinois for the first time with support from National Title Sponsor Allstate onApril 30, 2015 at the Allstate Arena. The star-studded lineup of speakers and performers for We Day Illinoiswill bring together 15,000 students and teachers from over 500 schools through a full day of educational speeches, inspirational moments and electric performances.

Taking to the stage this year is a cast of returning We Day favorites and new faces, including Jennifer Hudson, Common, The Band Perry, Colbie Caillat, Magic JohnsonLt. Colonel Eileen Collins, Martin Sheen, Marlee Matlin, Hannah Simone, Rico and Raini Rodriguez, Dennis Haysbert, Babyface, andKweku Mandela. Along with others, this all-star lineup will join international activists and We Day co-founders,Craig and Marc Kielburger, to share their passion for change, international experiences, and energize the crowd with unforgettable performances and motivational speeches. Selena Gomez, actress, multi-platinum recording artist and host of We Day Illinois, will lead the crowd through a day full of powerful educational speeches, inspirational moments and empowering performances.

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 a belief in the power of community. We Day is one of the world’s largest registered charities on social media, with more than five million followers. This year alone hundreds of thousands of young people will come together in stadium-sized events in 14 cities to take part in this unprecedented educational initiative.

Leading the arrival of We Day Illinois and co-chairing the event is award-winning hip-hop artist, actor, and founder of the Common Ground Foundation, Common, and Chairman and CEO of The Allstate Corporation,Tom Wilson, alongside We Day’s national co-chair, Academy® and GRAMMY® award-winning actress and musician and co-founder of the Julian D. King Gift Foundation, Jennifer Hudson.

“We Day is one of the most uplifting celebrations I have ever experienced,” said Academy® and GRAMMY® award-winning actress and musician, co-founder of the Julian D. King Gift Foundation and national co-chair of We Day, Jennifer Hudson. “The energy at We Day is like nothing else, fueled by positive energy and amazing hearts. At We Day, young people are encouraged to keep reaching and striving for the changes they want to see – no dream is too big, no challenge too hard. I can’t wait to celebrate, honor and motivate the thousands of change-makers in my home state of Illinois.”

“Time and time again, young people take action to make the world a better place. They know that a better tomorrow won’t wait until tomorrow,” said Vicky Dinges, Senior Vice President of Corporate Responsibility, Allstate. “As we partner with Free the Children to expand in the United States, Allstate is proud to bring We Day to Chicago – our hometown. Empowering kids and their commitment to service is the right thing to do. It helps us live into our purpose of being a force for good.”

More than a one-day event, We Day is connected to the year-long We Act program, which provides educational resources and campaigns to help young people turn the day’s inspiration into sustained action. We Day and We Act are cause inclusive, empowering young people to find their passion and create the change they want to see. Together, We Day and We Act are a blueprint for building the next generation of global citizens.

“We are extremely excited to introduce We Day to Illinois for the first time,” said We Day co-founder, Craig Kielburger. “We Day is North America’s celebration of service, honoring youth from coast to coast. This is our time to celebrate the inspiring actions Illinois youth have taken throughout their communities and all over the world, impacting local and global issues that matter most to them. This generation of young people – the Me to We generation – are creating and leading real systemic change. Since 2007, youth involved in We Day educational initiatives have raised over $45 million for over 1,000 local and global causes and logged more than 14.6 million volunteer hours.”

You can’t buy a ticket to We Day. Young people earn them by committing to take action on local and global causes of their choice. We Day provides a platform for youth to learn about some of today’s pressing social issues, helping to inspire them to become leaders and global citizens and to take action on the issues most important to them. We Day is free of charge to the thousands of students and educators in attendance, thanks to the generous support of sponsors led by National Co-Title Sponsor Allstate.

The full list of speakers, performers and presenters announced to date include:

  • Common (@common) – Award-winning hip-hop artist, actor, founder of the Common Ground Foundation and co-chair of We Day Illinois
  • Jennifer Hudson (@IAMJHUD) – Academy® and GRAMMY® award-winning actress and musician and co-founder of the Julian D. King Gift Foundation and national co-chair of We Day
  • Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) – Actress, multi-platinum recording artist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and co-host of We Day Illinois
  • Martin Sheen – Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award-winning actor and activist
  • Earvin “Magic” Johnson (@MagicJohnson) – NBA legend, two-time Hall-of-Famer, entrepreneur and philanthropist
  • The Band Perry (@thebandperry) – GRAMMY® Award-winning country music group
  • Colbie Caillat (@ColbieCaillat) – GRAMMY® Award-winning pop singer and songwriter
  • Babyface (@KennyEdmonds) – 11-time GRAMMY® Award-winning R&B musician, singer–songwriter and record producer
  • Rico Rodriguez (@StarringRico) – Actor from the hit television series Modern Family
  • Raini Rodriguez (@Raini_Rodriguez) – Singer and actress on Disney® Channel’s Austin &  Ally
  • Hannah Simone (@HannahSimone) – Actress from hit television series New Girl
  • Lamorne Morris (@lamornemorris) – Actor from the hit television series New Girl
  • Marlee Matlin (@MarleeMatlin) – Academy® Award-winning actress and devoted social activist
  • Lt. Colonel Eileen Collins – First female space shuttle commander, retired NASA astronaut and United States Air Force colonel
  • Kweku Mandela (@kwekumandela) – Social advocate, filmmaker, and grandson of President Nelson Mandela
  • Dennis Haysbert (@HaysbertDennis) – Film and television actor and Allstate Spokesman
  • Tom Wilson (@Allstate) – Chairman and CEO of The Allstate Corporation and co-chair of We Day Illinois
  • Mustafa the Poet (@MustafaThePoet) – 18-year-old poet, writer, actor and emcee
  • Craig and Marc Kielburger (@craigkielburger) – International activists and co-founders of We Day
  • Spencer West (@spencer2thewest) – Me to We motivational speaker, Free The Children ambassador and author
  • Ashley Rose Murphy (@AshleyRose_FTC) – Motivational youth speaker
  • Ezra Frech (@TeamEzra05) – 9-year-old athlete and motivational speaker
  • Ally Del Monte (@Loser_Gurls) – Singer, songwriter, blogger and activist

Click to tweet: .@weday announces first ever #WeDay #Illinois lineup @common @IAMJHUD @selenagomez @thebandperry @MagicJohnson @MarleeMatlin @kwekumandela @shaymitch

Stay connected:

  • Like We Day on Facebook: facebook.com/WeDay
  • Twitter: @WeDay @CraigKielburger
  • Official Hashtag: #WeDay

About We Day