I had the opportunity to receive media passes to attend We Day Vancouver yesterday Oct 18th at Rogers Arena. We Day is a movement of young people that are leading local and global change headed by the charity “Free the Children,” co-founded by brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger.
Every year this multy-city one of a kind educational events brings together 20,000 youth, educators and friends to listen to amazing speakers and performers. The goal has been to inspire young people to take action and make a difference in their communities.
Attendees can’t buy a ticket to We Day, they earn it through service. Through the year-long We Act program schools and groups take on one local and one global action and report back to Free The Children to earn their way to We Day.
As I arrived at the event I could feel the energy of the young people that were there to get inspired. It was amazing to see the level of commitment and the fact that each one of them earned their ticket by volunteering. I invited OneSmileyMonkey’s blog contributor Cher Hanusiak to join me and we both experienced this life-changing event for the first time. (Check out Cher’s thoughts on her blog here)
Here is a list of the amazing speakers and performers that we had the chance to see:
- Kofi Annan– Former Secretary-General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Laureate, who has recently launched the ‘Kofi Annan Dialogues’, a series of online conversations inspiring young people to lead
- Martin Luther King III – Human Rights advocate and eldest son of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Hedley – Multi-platinum, JUNO and MMVA Award-winning recording artists
- Craig and Marc Kielburger – International activists and co-founders of Free The Children
- The Honourable Roméo A. Dallaire – Lieutenant-General and author
- Down With Webster – Five-time JUNO Award-nominated, platinum selling genre-defying band with new album, Party for your Life, coming out October 22nd
- MTV hosts Aliya-Jasmine Sovani and Scott Willats (hosts for We Day Vancouver)
- Kenyan Boys Choir – Traditional African male choir, who sang at the 2009 inauguration of President Obama
- Youth speakers – Hannah Alper and Vishal Vijay
- Spencer West – Me to We inspirational speaker, Free The Children ambassador, author and double amputee who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro on his hands and in his wheelchair in June 2012
- Molly Burke – Visually impaired Me to We motivational speaker who speaks out against bullying and the power of hope
- Robin Wiszowaty – Me to We motivational speaker, author and Free The Children Program Director in Ghana and Kenya
- Chris Tse – Me to We inspirational speaker, national spoken word champion and humanitarian
- Avril Lavigne – Platinum-selling singer and songwriter, Founder & President of the Avril Lavigne Foundation
We Day was empowering and I was personally moved by all of the amazing world-renowned speakers. I really enjoyed listening to their inspirational stories and I only hope my own children will get involved with movements like this when they are older.
I applaud the efforts of Craig and Marc Kielburger for organizing this huge event together and creating social awareness and opportunities for young people to get involved and do something for their own communities.
Here is a video I put together with some key moments from the event: