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 Seattle on April 21, 2017 at the KeyArena at the Seattle Center.
Alongside partners, led by Co-Title Sponsors Microsoft and The Allstate Foundation, WE Day Seattle brings together 15,000 local change-makers, inspirational speakers and world-renowned performers to celebrate their commitment to taking action on social issues.
Taking the stage this year is a cast of new faces and returning WE Day favorites, including Russell Wilson, Pete Carroll and Doug Baldwin of the Seattle Seahawks, Lily Collins, Allen Stone, Grace VanderWaal, Buzz Aldrin, Jordan Fisher, Skai Jackson, Yara Shahidi, Jenna Ortega, Jordan Smith 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 action.
“Speaking on the WE Day stage and hearing the brave and inspiring stories of youth across America who are making a difference, has given me strength to speak publicly about my own story in my new book Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me” said Golden Globe nominated actress and author, Lily Collins. “I’m so excited to be back at WE Day Seattle surrounded by thousands of young people who encourage and support one another, embrace diversity and stand up for what they believe in with the goal of working together to make the world a better place.”
Also announced today, WE Day is proud to welcome Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, actress and model Ciara as the newest co-chairs of WE Day Seattle. Russell and Ciara join the roster of WE Day Seattle co-chairs, including Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll, Executive VP, Worldwide Commercial Business, Microsoft, Judson Althoff and Founder, Jolene McCaw Family Foundation, Jolene McCaw helping to champion WE Day across the state. To celebrate their role as co-chair, Russell Wilson and Ciara will participate in the event next month to motivate youth in attendance. Wilson is founder of The Why Not You Foundation — dedicated to creating real and lasting change in the world by motivating, empowering and preparing today’s youth to be tomorrow’s leaders.
“The youth at WE Day Seattle inspire us to continue to make an impact in the community — together we can change the world,” Russell Wilson and Ciara said. “They are truly leading the way towards positive changes by teaching us to support each other and to strive to make a difference every day. We are overjoyed to play an even bigger role in supporting WE Day Seattle and elevating today’s youth.”
More than a one-day event, WE Day is connected to the free, yearlong educational program WE Schools. Providing schools and community groups with curriculum, educational resources and action campaigns, this program is designed to enhance a school’s existing social initiatives or spark new ones. WE Schools encourages students to further their curricular learning, develop life skills for success beyond the classroom and become change-makers. In the 2015/2016 school year schools and groups in Washington state improved their community through WE Schools by volunteering more than 600,000 hours and raising over $900,000 for causes like hunger, homelessness, bullying and the environment.
“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 Seattle and across the state. This past school year more than 650 schools and groups in Washington made an incredible impact in their own backyards and in communities around the world through their commitment and passion for change.”
Chimacum High School has gone above and beyond to support the Seattle community. This past year its students partnered with a nearby “rival” school to collect over 2,000 pounds of food to donate to the Tri Area Food Bank. They are also supporting those in need by creating care packages—filled with essential hygiene items—and distributing the packages through a local coffee shop. Over the past five years, students have also raised over $5,300 for causes in Haiti, including healthcare, alternative income opportunities, water, food and education.
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 teachers, thanks to the generous support of Microsoft and The Allstate Foundation. Microsoft is proud to empower young people — in Seattle and around the world — with the resources, skills, and inspiration they need to create a more inclusive world. The Allstate Foundation believes good starts young, and is committed to empowering America’s youth with the strength, confidence and leadership skills to step us as leaders and achieve success in their lives.
This year, even more youth from across Seattle, Washington State and the U.S. will be able to experience the energy of WE Day Seattle. For the first time, WE Day will use the Microsoft Educator Community site to showcase live video messages to students and educators who cannot join the show in person. Following the live event there will be an hour-long highlight show available to stream or download.
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 are joining the WE Community and making a commitment to live WE every day. For every pledge made on WE.org, $10 will be donated to local and global programs.