WE Day was celebrated this past Thursday in Toronto, Canada, where it all started. What is WE Day? Let me explain...
Meet Craig Kielburger, who was 12 years old in 1995 when he suddenly became aware of the worlds' social injustices while reading about child labor of kids his own age. Inspired, he created Free The Children, a now internationally known charity that has raised tens of millions of dollars for over 2500 organizations and has built over 650 schools.
The Me to We movement was also created. This is a community of people moving from "me thinking" to "we acting"; they are building a better world, where everyone has the power to speak out, having their voices be heard and make choices that have a positive impact.
WE Day started in Toronto in 2007 with 7,000 kids packed into a small Toronto arena downtown. Each kid earned their spot, free of charge, by taking part in the WE schools program that participates in local and global action. Today, over 200,000 kids participate in the U.S.A., Canada and the UK from over 10,000 schools. WE Day inspires change, engages and empowers youth through services and behavioural impacts.
WE Day occurs in several cities each year, including home base Toronto, Vancouver, London, Los Angeles, Seattle, Minneapolis, Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Chicago. Superstar and involved celebrities and activists from all over the world have participated in WE Day to inspire today's youth. Some include: Prince Harry, Michelle and Barak Obama, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas, Jennifer Hudson, Nina Dobrev, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, Kendrick Lamar, Magic Johnson, Her Majesty Noor of Jordan, Richard Branson, Larry King, Dr. Jane Goodall, Marlee Matlin, Shaquille O'Neil, Rev. Jesse Jackson, among a few.
On Thursday, Demi Lovato joined the movement for her third WE Day with friend Nick Jonas who performed his latest hit, "Levels." New Canadian superstar singer Shawn Mendes performed his single, "Stitches," as well as Hozier with "Take me to Church." Actors Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries), Henry Winkler (Happy Days, Royal Pains), Marlee Matlin, Magic Johnson, Pinball Clements, Carly Rae Jepsen, and the Kielburgers all took the stage for the pre-recorded celebration at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
The show will air on MTV Canada November 25, 2015 at 10pm EST.[gallery type="slideshow" ids="109324,109339,109338,109337,109335,109333,109332,109331,109330,109329,109328,109327,109326,109325"]
Craig, now 32, has authored 12 books, including the New York Times bestseller Me to We: Finding Meaning in a Material World. Weekly columns written by Craig and Marc are syndicated in over 30 newspapers across North America. Craig is the youngest-ever graduate from the Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA program.
For his work to advance human rights, Craig has been awarded 15 honorary doctorates and degrees, and has received the Order of Canada, the Roosevelt Freedom From Fear Medal, the World Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child, and the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award.