On April 29th, more than 15,000 young people gathered in Allstate Arena for a massive interactive stage event, featuring concerts, activities, and world-renowned speakers—all to inspire youth to take community action.
[pullquote]Photos from @WeDay Illinois, the rock-concert-slash-pep-rally of teen philanthropy[/pullquote]
The teens gathered at the second annual WE Day Illinois had earned their tickets to the multimedia event by participating in a year of community service and philanthropic action through the We Act program, created by Free the Children.
As part of this year’s event, The Chicago Community Trust partnered with world-renowned poet Jamila Woods and young performers from Young Chicago Authors’ Louder Than a Bomb poetry project.
Their performance underscored the importance of speaking up and speaking out for what’s important and invited other youth to join the Trust for On the Table through the affirming message: “Your Voice Matters.”
Here’s a look at some of the most exciting moments from WE Day.
Behind the scenes: The shadows of Louder than a Bomb poets animate the WE Day stage at a rehearsal.
We Change the World: Before the show started, “We Change the World” bags were placed on each empty seat in the Allstate Arena.
WE Day Dance: With their hands in a “W” formation, teens enthusiastically join in the “WE Day” dance led by frenetic dancers from the stage.
Trust Booth: At the Trust’s photo booth, WE Day participants had the opportunity to win a $100 gift card to host their own On the Table mealtime conversation. Zakiya, a student at Alex Haley, was the first gift card winner! From Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood, Zakiya is deeply concerned about homelessness and related human service issues in the city.
More Winners: Twelve-year old Shakyrah was the second gift card winner at the Trust’s booth. Shakyrah is a student at Fuller School of Excellence and is passionate about community safety.
Your Voice Matters: Jamila Woods along with Jalen Kobayashi, E’mon Lauren, Antwon Funches, and Patricia Frazier performed a powerful piece about the importance of being heard. The poets were joined by a dancer from the Happiness Club.
Happiness in Motion: Dominique from the Happiness Club puts up a fist at the closing of the Louder than a Bomb performance at WE Day.
After the Show: Following the powerful performance, Jamila Woods embraces the Trust’s Daniel Ash.
Somebody to Love:The Voice Season 9 winner Jordan Smith gave a show-stopping rendition of Queen’s “Somebody to Love.” The Soul Children of Chicago choir made the riveting performance electrifying.
During the Show: While performers and speakers filled the stage, the WE Day mascot posed with the Trust’s Elizabeth Weber.
Feeling the Spirit: Near the stage where famous artists and philanthropists performed for the WE Day audience, one guest flashed a contagious smile.
Ready to Glow: The Trust distributed more than 15,000 glow-in-the-dark temporary tattoos, which were a huge hit.
Talk Bubble: Children swarmed around the Trust’s photobooth at WE Day. The little boy is being lifted to fit into the Trust’s “talk bubble,” which teens used as a fun template to take a photo.
Trust Technology: A WE Day participant scanned a bracelet at the Trust’s kiosk, enabling him to share his photo automatically to all of his social media channels.
What You Do Matters: Trust staff passed out temporary tattoos to WE Day participants, along with notebooks, “What You Do Matters” buttons, and answers to questions about the upcoming On the Table event.
Community Superstar:Student activist Destiny Watson, an On the Table host this year, brought a bus load of students to WE Day from Homewood-Flossmoor High school as part of her organization You Matter 2.
Capturing the Moment: WE Day guests used their phones to capture and share the inspiring performances on stage.
Ciara: Grammy-award winning artist Ciara took the stage to close WE Day Illinois. Her stirring performance, along with some inspiring words after the show, put a wonderful end to an exciting day of celebrating the next generation of philanthropy.