September 27, 2011 – Air Canada Centre Toronto, Canada
We Day 2011 http://www.weday.com was a huge celebration as youth came together to see what they are doing in the world to help others. And it’s more than just one day of celebration and inspiration, it’s a movement of young people leading local and global change. It sheds light on some of the greatest social issues of today encouraging youth to make a difference in volunteering their time, talent, energy, enthusiasm and passion. Today was an affirmation in understanding that no matter the cause or the issue; every young person can find their place within the movement to create positive, global change. We Day is the largest youth empowerment event of its kind put on by educational partner and international children‘s charity, “Free The Children http://www.freethechildren.com,” co-founded by social activists and brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger .
During the celebration international success stories were shown on the jumbo screen and of course actors and singers shared their talent and commitment to the cause. Degrassi’s Aislinn Paul http://degrassi.wikia.com/wiki/Aislinn_Paul and Munro Chambers http://blog.muchmusic.com/tag/munro-chambers/ talked about being inspired. Paul said “on our trip to Haiti we put a jungle gym together at a school, we all had flashbacks to our childhoods where so many great memories were created on the playground; knowing that now these kids would have their own opportunities to make those memories drove us to do our best.” Chambers said “I’ve been on a couple of trips with Free the Children and sometimes I wondered how much difference we were really able to make, like giving a soccer ball to a kid-can that really change the world? It can if that ball can really bring people together.” Paul said “we didn’t go to Haiti to be there for the kids but to be with them and because we did we came home inspired, thankful for what we have and ready to do more.”
Grammy Award winner, Nelly Furtado http://www.nellyfurtado.com/ talked about her life changing trip earlier this year to East Africa and discussed the bravery and strength of the fourteen year old girls she had the privilege to meet during her travels. “In these girls I saw strength, determination and bravery unlike any other I’ve seen anywhere.” She witnessed the impact that girl’s high school education can have on entire communities. Furtado said “I’m inspired all over again by all of you – you take action through Free the Children every day. The bake sales, the car washes and birthday money; you help children around the world and are taking a stand to create real change, and you’re making the mark on the world and I’m proud of you.” Furtado said that she believed in the youth and empowering girls and donated one million dollars to build a girls boarding school in Kenya. Furtado was thanked on stage by the Kielburger brothers and co-founders of “Free the Children.” Other speakers included Mary Robinson, first female President of Ireland and Rick Hansen http://www.rickhansen.com/, Canadian Paralympian. Popular Canadian rappers and producers, Classified http://www.classifiedofficial.com/ and Kardinal Offishall http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kardinal_Offishall hit the stage along with Juno Award winner Shawn Desman. Tune in to see the We Day special air on Much Music, Sunday, October 30 at 7 p.m. http://www.muchmusic.com/events/weday/