We Day Vancouver was held at Rogers Arena on Friday, October 18. The event pumped up and inspired kids to create local and global change.
Last Friday in BC, 20,000 kids skipped school. My fellow editors, Leah and Colleen, skipped work with me and we joined the kids to attend We Day Vancouver at Rogers Arena.
We Day connects world-renowned speakers and entertainers with thousands of elementary and high school students and teachers to learn about pressing local and global issues. Students can’t buy a ticket to attend. They must earn their way in by pledging to take action on one local and one global initiative over the year through an educational program called We Act. More than 800 BC schools participated in We Act in 2012.
Education can change the world
This year’s theme is the power of education to change the world, and the goal is to build 200 schools in developing countries.
Speaker after illustrious speaker addressed the wildly enthusiastic crowd. Speakers included
- Craig and Marc Kielburger, co-founders of Free the Children
- Martin Luther King III, human rights advocate and eldest son of Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Kofi Annan, former secretary-general of the United Nations
- Roméo Dallaire, Canadian lieutenant-general and author
- Christy Clark, premier of BC
- Gregor Robertson, mayor of Vancouver
- Spencer West, author and double amputee who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro on his hands and in his wheelchair
- Molly Burke, visually impaired speaker against bullying
Be the change
The overwhelming message was that we each can make a difference, in our own communities or around the world. And while we may think of kids today as electronic junkies who are plugged into video games, TV, computers, or cellphones 24/7, kids today are doing a lot of impressive things.
Since 2007, students involved in We Act have been accomplishing amazing things, including
- 9.6 million volunteer hours logged
- $37 million raised for more than 1,000 local and global causes
- 4 million pounds of food collected for local food banks
The kids’ enthusiasm was infectious. I haven’t come down from my We Day high. I can’t help but feel that the world may be a better place when these young people are in charge. The generations before them have created huge obstacles—climate change, poverty, pollution, to name a few issues. But I left believing that every one of us, including myself, can be the change.
Watch for our next We Day blog on Wednesday. Did you, or your child, attend We Day? Let us know how it impacted you by leaving us a comment on Facebook or on Twitter.