Yesterday, the world’s largest youth empowerment event of its kind, We Day, along with National Co-Title Sponsors Microsoft, Allstate and Unilever Project Sunlight, brought together renowned speakers and chart-topping musical artists including Cody Simpson, Colbie Caillat, Marlee Matlin, Hannah Simone, Cher Lloyd, Kid President and Lt. Colonel Eileen Collins.
Along with international activists and co-founders of We Day, Craig and Marc Kielburger and other motivating speakers and performers, the star-studded lineup engaged and inspired 16,000 students and educators from over 600 schools that are taking action on local and global causes that are important to them.
We Day California highlights some of the greatest social issues of today and provides the young people in attendance, and tens of thousands more watching the event streamed live on www.weday.com/watch, ways in which they can find their place within the movement to create global change. Jesse Giddings, host of We Day California, led the crowd through a day full of powerful educational speeches, inspirational moments and electric performances.
• We Day alumni, award-winning Australian singer/songwriter and worldwide music sensation Cody Simpson serenaded the crowd with two of his new songs Flower and New Girl New Problem.
• First female space shuttle commander and United States Air Force colonel Lt. Colonel Eileen Collins was interviewed by Me to We motivational speaker, Free The Children ambassador and author Spencer West, providing advice and sharing her personal story of both struggle and triumph throughout her career.
• Youth were moved by Grammy Award-winning pop singer and songwriter Colbie Caillat’s beautiful, empowering performance of her hit songs, Try and Never Gonna Let You Down.
“Performing at We Day this past fall was such a fantastic experience, I’m so happy to be back and part of this inspiring event in California,” said Grammy Award-winning pop singer and songwriter, Colbie Caillat. “The strong commitment and level of involvement from these students is incredibly inspirational. I’m grateful to be part of this celebration, honoring the hard work and actions they have taken.”
“All of the students here have spent the last year earning their tickets,” said We Day co-founder Craig Kielburger. “Today we have chart-topping artists, world-renowned speakers and incredible youth on the stage motivating students in the audience by sharing the issues they are passionate about. We Day is a celebration of service but the real work starts when these young people go back to their classrooms and communities, empowered to make a difference. With over 800 schools in California involved in our We Act program, these youth have been able to achieve remarkable change. Last year, California schools raised over $532,000 for local and global initiatives, collected over 44,200 pounds of food for local food banks and logged more than 198,000 hours of volunteer service.”
The lineup of acts who took the stage at We Day California include: Colbie Caillat, Cody Simpson, Joe Jonas, Jesse Giddings, J.R. Martinez, Chord Overstreet, Hannah Simone, Cher Lloyd, Kid President, Lt. Colonel Eileen Collins, Marlee Matlin, Mia Farrow, G.R.L., Luke Bilyk, Mustafa The Poet, Spencer West, Ashely Rose Murphy, Hannah Alper, and Craig and Marc Kielburger.
We Day California also saw local young leaders and performers take the stage including Ezra Frech, a 9-year-old athlete and motivational speaker, Zuriel Oduwole, 12-year-old film maker, presidential interviewer & Girl Child Education advocate, and Public Figures a local dance team collective of five dance groups from the San Jose/Bay area. The NFL’s Oakland Raiders also lent their voice to the day.
We Day is the movement of our time – a movement of young people leading local and global change. We Day celebrates and inspires this generation’s shift from me to we – towards acting with intention, leading with compassion, and a belief in the power of community. We Day is one of the world’s largest registered charities on social media, with more than five million followers. This year alone 200,000 young people will come together in stadium gatherings in 14 cities to take part in this unprecedented educational initiative.
“Our founding support of We Day California is an important part of the Microsoft YouthSpark initiative as we share the vision of empowering young people to create and capture opportunities that are changing the world,” said Lori Forte Harnick, General Manager, Citizenship and Public Affairs, Microsoft. “We are proud to cheer on the thousands of students who are creating change and those who are using technology to do more and achieve more in their lives and communities.”
“Throughout history, youth movements have driven change and impacted the world. We Day empowers and rewards students for making a difference in their communities,” said Tom Wilson, Chairman and CEO, Allstate. “The young people here today have earned their way to this event by helping others, and support Allstate’s goal of being a force for good.”
“We believe everyone has a role in creating a brighter future which is why we support this next generation of change makers,” said Rob Candelino, VP of Marketing for Haircare, Unilever. “We know small actions can add up to a big difference – whether that’s wasting less, sharing more, and sparking community activism – and the future leaders of We Day demonstrate this.”
More than a one-day event, We Day is connected to the year-long We Act program, which provides educational resources and campaigns to help young people turn the day’s inspiration into sustained action. We Day and We Act are cause inclusive, empowering young people to find their passion and create the change they want to see. Together, We Day and We Act are a blueprint for building the next generation of global citizens.