About 100 members of the Lemont High School marching band will perform on stage with actress Jennifer Hudson tomorrow at an event that brings young leaders together to prove that no one is alone in their desire for change, the Daily Southtown reports.
Jennifer Hudson at the UK premier of Dreamgirls (Chris Jackson / Getty Images)
Lemont’s marching band is under the direction of Dave Nommensen and Matt Doherty.
The event known as “We Day Illinois” is one of more than 50 We Day events in the US, Canada, and the UK. “You can’t buy a ticket to We Day; you earn it through service,” says a promotional video posted on the organization’s website.
The creators of the Toronto-based “Me to We” movement, brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger, bring a diverse set of skills to the family of organizations behind We Day. Craig was the youngest-ever graduate from the Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA program, and Marc has a degree in international relations from Harvard University and is a Rhodes Scholar, as well as an Oxford University-trained lawyer.
They say they hope the one We Day in each city, which brings together thousands of young leaders, entertainers, and inspirational speakers, launches a year or more of world-changing acts by the young generation. (Here’s the app.)
An internal report in 2011 found that prior to attending a We Day, 66 percent of students felt empowered to “make a meaningful difference” or “be a leader of social [change]” while 97 percent felt so after attending a We Day. The percent of students who felt that they could be a leader of social change more than doubled from 27 to 61 percent.
Since We Day was founded in 2007, some 278,000 young people have attended We Day events, and an estimated 5.7 million have watched broadcasts of the events. About $37 million has been raised for thousands of causes through the participation of more than 8,000 schools.
“Having the opportunity to perform is a memory these students will be able to cherish for a long time,” the Southtown quoted Lemont School District 113A Superintendent Mary Ticknor as saying. “It is a tremendous honor for our band to participate in an event that celebrates the opportunity for young people to have a positive effect on the world in which they live.”
In addition to Ms Hudson, actress Selena Gomez and hip-hop artist Common are also expected to participate in We Day April 30 at the Rosemont Horizon. The band will accompany Ms Hudson as she sings “Whatever Makes You Happy” from the soundtrack for the TV series “Empire.”
Also scheduled to appear at We Day Illinois are Emmy Award-winning actor Martin Sheen; NBA Hall-of-Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson; Grammy Award winner The Band Perry; Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin; actress Hannah Simone (“New Girl”); film and television actor and Allstate spokesman Dennis Haysbert; NASA astronaut Lt Col Eileen Collins; Nelson Mandela’s grandson and social advocate Kweku Mandela; and others.
Ms Hudson’s alma mater, Dunbar Vocational Career Academy in Chicago, will also send several band members to accompany her at the event. Along with Lemont’s band, these luminaries will all help to empower young people to find their passion and create change in the world.