WE Day, a series of inspiring stadium-sized life-changing events that take place around the world, announces the initial list of speakers, performers and presenters attending WE Day Minnesota on September 20, 2016 at the Xcel Energy Center.
WE Day is part of WE – a movement that brings people together and gives them the tools to change the world locally and globally, achieving transformative outcomes for themselves and others. Led by National Title Sponsor Allstate, WE Day Minnesota will bring together more than 18,000 young change-makers alongside inspirational speakers, world-renowned performers and presenters to celebrate their commitment to taking action on local and global causes they are passionate about, and inspire another year of change.
Taking the stage this year is a cast of new faces and returning WE Day favorites, including Lilly Singh, OMI, Sabrina Carpenter, Paula Abdul, Olivia Holt, Jordan Smith, Serena Ryder, George Takei and more. This star-studded lineup will join international activists and WE co-founders, Craig and Marc Kielburger, to share their passion for change, international experiences and energize the crowd with unforgettable performances and motivational speeches.
Making WE Day a true community celebration of youth taking action, local Minnesotans with inspiring personal stories will join the above lineup, including Mandi Simon, age 13. At only 7-years-old, Mandi knew she wanted to make a difference in the world. Passionate about supporting children, she founded Simon Says Give, a charity organization that inspires young people to use their talent and skills to celebrate the birthdays of those who don’t have the opportunity or means to do so. Since, Mandi and Simon Says Give have inspired thousands of volunteers to join the mission, leading to the support and celebration of nearly 30,000 children. Mandi is just one of the many young people who will share their story to motivate their WE Day peers.
WE Day events unite people, filling stadiums around the globe to experience the greatest classroom in the world for a full day, live event. Young people can’t buy a ticket to WE Day—they earn their entry through service, by taking action on one local and one global cause of their choice. More than a one day event, WE Day engages students of all socioeconomic backgrounds through WE Schools, a yearlong educational program that provides schools and community groups with educational resources and student-led campaigns designed to enhance a school’s existing social initiatives or spark new ones. WE Schools encourages students to further their curricular learning and develop life skills for success. Young people are challenged to research and make an impact on at least one local and one global issue, and supported with curricular resources, service campaigns and mentorship programs to help them to become change-makers.
In the 2015/2016 school year, students and teachers from across Minnesota participated in remarkable social change. More than 600 schools improved the world through WE Schools, volunteering more than 600,000 hours and raising over $1 million in support of local and global causes. National alumni studies show that after leaving the program, 80 percent of students continue to volunteer, 83 percent continue to donate to charities and 79 percent voted in the last national election (if over 18 years of age). Globally more than 2.4 million students are part of the WE Movement, taking part in service learning programs and campaigns.
Young people across Minnesota are creating remarkable change. For the last two years, students at East Central Senior High have taken on a range of initiatives to support their school and community while participating in the WE Schools program. Recently, students developed a Backpack Food program by partnering with local businesses, ensuring those in need of food items over weekends are receiving healthy and nutritious meals. Additionally, students led a winter gear collection for individuals in the school and community in need of warm clothes, partnering with a local church to create a pick-up center for families with limited resources for winter garments.
“WE Day is a celebration of young people who have taken action at home and around the world, inspiring themselves and others to create sustainable change for a better tomorrow,” said Craig Kielburger, co-founder of WE. “Standing in a stadium full of passionate youth will affirm your belief that real change can happen – and is happening every single day right here in Minnesota. This past school year more than 600 schools and groups around Minnesota made an incredible impact in their own backyards and in communities around the world through their commitment and passion for change.”
WE Day is free of charge to the thousands of students and teachers in attendance, thanks to the generous support of National Title Sponsor Allstate. As supporters of WE Day, Allstate empowers future generations with the strength, confidence and skills to rise up as leaders and realize their full potential – demonstrating to the world that good starts young.