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 the first-ever WE Day event in the tri-state area, WE Day New York Welcome, on April 6, 2017 at Radio City Music Hall.
Alongside partners, led by Co-Title Sponsors The Allstate Foundation, Unilever, Walgreens and Microsoft, WE Day New York Welcome brings together 6,000 local change-makers, inspirational speakers and world-renowned performers to celebrate their commitment to taking action on social issues.
Hosted by multimedia icon, Angie Martinez, a cast of new faces and returning WE Day favorites will take the stage this year, including Martin Luther King III, Daya, Talib Kweli, Rowan Blanchard, Winnie Harlow, Buzz Aldrin, Jordan Fisher, Paula Abdul, Mia Farrow, Darren Criss & Computer Games, Skai Jackson, Jordan Smith, J.R. Martinez, Celebrity Marauders and more. This star-studded lineup will join international activists and WE co-founders, Craig and Marc Kielburger, to share their passion for change and energize the crowd with unforgettable performances and motivational speeches to inspire another year of change.
“WE Day is such an inspirational event—learning about the amazing initiatives my fellow peers are undertaking to support each other and help build stronger communities is exactly what gives me inspiration to try and make a difference in the world,” said Multi-Platinum singer, songwriter, and recording artist Daya. “I cannot wait to attend my first ever WE Day in New York and celebrate the power of young people and the leaders of tomorrow.”
Darren Criss, actor and member of indie pop-band Computer Games stated, “I’m proud to say that WE Day New York will be my fifth WE Day. Witnessing so many young people get excited about creating positive impacts in the world, and be so passionate about raising awareness for social issues- this is why I keep coming back to WE Day. It serves as an inspiration and reminder that no matter what your age, you too can make a difference.”
WE Day New York Welcome is a true community celebration, sharing inspiring stories of New Yorkers taking action to earn their ticket to WE Day. Besty Nwachukwu and Dejanae Johnson are two 7th graders who are passionate about supporting their local community and inspiring their peers to join in. They are leaders in bullying prevention, serving as volunteer peer counselors for the Blue-Light Program to help resolve conflict within their school and community. They also work with various other local programs including Girls Empowered and Motivated for Success — a program dedicated to self-esteem and self-empowerment of young girls, and Project Boost — a program that teaches young people to embrace cultural experiences. Besty and Dejanae are shining examples of change makers in the tri-state area.
“WE Day celebrates the amazing young people who have taken action at home and around the world 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 the New York. This past school year more than 340 schools and groups around the tri-state area made an incredible impact in their own backyards and in communities around the world through their commitment and passion for change.”
WE Day is part of WE — an organization that brings people together and gives them the tools to change the world locally and globally, achieving transformative outcomes for themselves and others. Through the yearlong educational program WE Schools, WE provides schools and community groups with educational resources and student-led campaigns designed to enhance existing social initiatives or spark new ones. Youth involved with WE Schools are challenged to make an impact on at least one local and one global issue, and are supported with curricular resources, service campaigns, and mentorship programs to help them become change-makers. To celebrate their efforts, students are invited to WE Day, earning their tickets through action.
In the 2015-2016 school year, students and educators from across the tri-state area helped lead remarkable social change. Nearly 4,000 students from across the region improved their communities through WE Schools by raising awareness and fundraising for local and global issues such as poverty, hunger, education, youth rights and the environment. Students in the after school program at The El Peunte Williamsburg Leadership Center, for example, raised awareness about the homeless population and fundraised to support local families facing homelessness by making and selling 50 handcrafted bracelets and raised $100 to create care packages which they distributed at local parks, fast food restaurants and the Brooklyn Public Library.
In a 2015 study, current and former WE Schools participants were 2.5 times more likely to have a long term commitment to a social cause, 2.3 times more likely to use their professional skills to solve social problems and 1.2 times more likely to report that they had voted in the prior election than their non-participant peers.
You can’t buy a ticket to WE Day — students from across the country earn their way by the actions they take on one local and one global cause of their choice. WE Day is free of charge to students and educators, thanks to the generous support of partners led by Co-Title Sponsors The Allstate Foundation, Unilever, Walgreens and Microsoft.
WE Day is supported in the tri-state area by Co-Chairs Carolyn Everson, Vice President, Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook; Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever; Ornella Barra, Co-Chief Operating Officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance; and Lynne Doughtie, Chairman and CEO, KPMG US.
WE has been empowering young people to transform communities at home and around the globe for over 20 years — now the organization is also empowering individuals and families across the nation to “live WE”. The first ever WE Day New York Welcome: Friends and Family event will take place on April 6 at 7 p.m. at Radio City Music Hall following WE Day New York Welcome. WE Day New York Welcome: Friends and Family will feature inspirational speakers and world-renowned performers, coming together to share their personal stories of leadership and triumph including Paula Abdul, Buzz Aldrin, Mia Farrow, Jordan Smith, Martin Luther King III, J.R. Martinez, Celebrity Marauders and more. WE Day New York Welcome: Friends and Family is designed to help families bring the power of change into their homes by bonding around causes that truly matter, raising caring and compassionate children, and setting family members on a path for success.
Anyone can find their place with WE and commit to making a change in the world. The first step is to take the WE Pledge at WE.org. By taking the pledge, participants join the WE community and make a commitment to “live WE” every day. For every pledge taken on WE.org, $10 will be donated to local and global programs.