What is We Day? We Day is an educational event and the movement of our time—a movement of young people leading local and global change. We Day is tied to the yearlong We Act program, which offers curricular resources, campaigns and materials to help turn the day’s inspiration into sustained activation. A family of organizations changing the world. We Day is part of a family of organizations, including Free The Children and Me to We, that has a shared goal: to empower a generation to shift the world from ‘me’ to ‘we’—through how we act, how we give, the choices we make on what to buy and what to wear, the media we consume and the experiences with which we choose to engage.
We Day Toronto, was hosted by Glee star Darren Criss, filled with incredible speeches from Martin Luther King III, Chris Hadfield and Spencer West, along with great performances from big-name acts such as Imagine Dragons, Demi Lovato and the Jonas Brothers.
To start the day, Ryerson dancers performed a dance celebrating the legacy of the Martin Luther King Jr, which was the perfect introduction to our first speaker of the day, his eldest son, Martin Luther King III. Martin Luther King III explained his father’s dream to see a world where every person is free. My father stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and delivered one of the most important speeches in our nation and now our world,” the human rights activist told a sea of students on Friday. “This is important work that is going to change our world.”
Martin Luther King Kr III
Free The Children co-founders Craig and Marc Kielburger took the stage next, where they unveiled We365, the brand new social network and mobile app! An initiative of Free The Children and TELUS, We365 is a digital platform for social good that allows you to find engaging content on the causes you care about, log your volunteer hours, fundraise for thousands of charities, and connect with other change-makers. It’s a cool tool. Be sure to check out my post on it, coming soon!!!
The crowd went wild for the first musical performance of the day by the Jonas Brothers, who performed their song Pom Poms! Joe then told the crowd about his amazing experience travelling Kenya with Me to We. “I remember in one village, I met some of the students. Young girls that were so excited about learning that they wanted to study all night.” Joe says he can’t wait to take action to promote the Year of Education, and is already fundraising for two schools. Can you believe it???
The Jonas Brothers
Next, crowd favourite Spencer West took the stage to share how he used the power of teamwork to complete a 300 km walk from Edmonton to Calgary to raise awareness and funds for the Water Initiative. This year, Spencer will go on a road trip across Canada sponsored by RBC to spread the word about the Year of Education.
Then, Me to We motivational speaker Robin Wiszowaty held an interesting interview with the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is also the first elected female head of state in Africa and 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner! When asked what she wants this generation to achieve in 50 years, President Sirleaf turned to the crowd and said confidently, “You will have changed the world, let me be very clear about that.”
The next two musical acts really got the crowd back on their feet: Austin Mahone performed his hit song What About Love, and then the rock band Imagine Dragons rocked the stage with their hit Radioactive.
Then came a pause for a powerful message: Me to We motivational speaker Molly Burke, blind since the age of 14, shared her inspiring story of how she overcame bullying and found her voice: “Words are powerful, they can tear us down, but they also have the power to build us back up. They can even heal,” she said. She challenged the crowd to join her in staying silent on April 17th for We Are Silent. She is one amazing gal. A post about her is coming up too.
Next up, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield spoke about his adventures in space. As the lights went down, flashing lights from 20,000 impact bracelets made the audience looked like a night sky full of lights. He said “Tonight, you are 20,000 stars who have a light inside of you to achieve anything you believe in.” Hadfield then shared the best advice on how to fulfill our dreams: “The sky is not the limit, it is just the beginning. The sky is just a threshold to the stars.” He then strapped on a guitar to perform “Is Somebody Singing” with Canadian band the Barenaked Ladies. Check out my post on him: Chris Hadfield Post
Next up were 12-year old Vishal Vijay and 10-year old Hannah Alper — a hush came over the crowd as they told the moving stories of youth activists Malala Yousafzai and Iqbal Masih. Accompanied by the Canadian Sinfonietta, they spoke of the passion and determination of these iconic children, and how they inspired a whole generation of youth to take action. Hannah and Vishal are certainly upholding their legacy, dedicating their time to taking action in their communities. They left the stage to a roaring applause (and a tear or two).
For an epic finale, Demi Lovato took to the stage alongside Darren Criss and the Kenyan Boy Choir to perform her smash hit “Skyscrapers”, followed by “Neon Lights”. What a way to get the whole stadium dancing and singing! She is an amazing singer, I can say that. She even visited Kenya for her 21st birthday last summer.
Demi Lovato at We Day
This was truly on amazing event. Be sure to watch it Monday November 11, 2013 7 pm on MTV/MUCH…..!!!