SEATTLE, WA – Today, international charity Free The Children, in partnership with Co-Title Sponsors Microsoft and Amway North America, announced the lineup of Grammy® award winners, world-renowned activists and sports icons set to inspire 15,000 youth and supporters from nearly 400 middle and high schools at the first ever We Day Seattle on Wednesday, March 27, in the KeyArena at Seattle Center.
We Day makes it cool to care. Bringing together some of the most influential leaders of our time, We Day allows speakers and performers to address pressing world issues and ignite students’ passion to be a part of the solution. Leading the electric crowd at We Day Seattle will be hosts Munro Chambers and Melinda Shankar from the hit television series DEGRASSI and international activists and co-founders of Free The Children, Craig and Marc Kielburger. The star-studded list of performers and speakers set to hit the We Day stage – with more still to be announced – include:
- Jennifer Hudson – Academy® and Grammy® award-winning actress and musician
- Magic Johnson – NBA legend, two-time hall of famer and philanthropist
- Pete Carroll – Seattle Seahawks Head Coach and co-chair of We Day Seattle
- Martin Sheen – Emmy® and Golden Globe® winning actor and activist
- Mia Farrow – Award-winning actress, activist and United Nations ambassador
- Martin Luther King III – Civil rights activist and oldest son of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
- Gary Payton – Nine-time NBA All-Star and former player for the Seattle SuperSonics
- J.R. Martinez – Actor, motivational speaker, bestselling author and former U.S. Army soldier
- Nelly Furtado – Grammy award-winning musician and Free The Children ambassador
- The Tenors – Multi-platinum vocal group
- Kid President – Nine-year-old Robby Novak, YouTube sensation
- MC Hammer – Grammy and Diamond Award Winner, businessman and tech entrepreneur
- Hedley – Multi-platinum, JUNO and MMVA award winning musicians and Free The Children ambassadors
- Liz Murray – Author of the New York Times Bestselling memoir Breaking Night: My Journey from Homeless to Harvard
- Munro Chambers and Melinda Shankar – Cast members from the hit TeenNick television series DEGRASSI and We Day Seattle hosts
- Craig and Marc Kielburger – Co-founders, Free The Children
- Spencer West – Me to We motivational speaker who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro on his hands in 2012
- Molly Burke – Visually impaired Me to We motivational speaker
- Washington State Governor Jay Inslee
- Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn
Also supporting youth in their actions and taking the We Day stage are Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, Co-Title Sponsor of We Day Seattle, and a representative from Amway North America, Co-Title Sponsor of We Day Seattle.
"I truly believe that to be successful in the pursuit of any dream you must surround yourself with a strong, positive and like-minded support network," said Jennifer Hudson. "We Day gives youth the platform to build that and see that they are not alone in their desire to make a difference in the world, but are surrounded by thousands of others just like them who want a change."
"Through our work with A Better Seattle and A Better LA, we’ve been deeply dedicated to getting youth off the streets and out of gangs, but when you pull them out of that lifestyle, you have to push them towards something different, something positive, and We Day is one of those powerful outlets," said Pete Carroll, Head Coach of the Seattle Seahawks. "We Day creates a space for recognizing the world is bigger than yourself, that people all around the world face adversity, and that you can be part of the great movement towards making the world a better place."
A stadium-sized educational event and the world’s largest youth empowerment event of its kind, We Day makes its official debut in the United States starting with Seattle on March 27 and followed up by Minnesota on October 8. Students can’t buy a ticket to We Day; they earn it through service by making a commitment to take action on one local and one global initiative throughout the school year, as part of the We Act program. We Act supports students and educators with free educational resources, student-led campaigns, and support materials to help turn the event’s inspiration into sustained activation. Together, We Day and We Act provide a blueprint for raising a generation of active global citizens.
We Day has taken the world by storm with 3.3 million fans, making it one of the world’s largest causes on Facebook. In Canada We Day touches every major city coast to coast, bringing together hundreds of thousands of young people in their commitment to taking action for a better world.
"Since We Day was born five year ago, we’ve seen an incredible commitment from young people across Canada who have raised $26 million for 900 local and global causes, volunteered 5.1 million hours and collected 2.8 million lbs of food for local food banks,‖ said Craig Kielburger, co-founder of Free The Children. ―We know how committed youth in Washington State already are to service learning initiatives and can’t wait to see what actions We Day will spark in this passionate community."
We Day Seattle is free of charge to the thousands of students and educators in attendance thanks to the generous support of Co-Title Sponsors Microsoft and Amway North America, along with key Seattle-based supporters including The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and Ballmer Family Giving, and partners the Seattle Seahawks and A Better Seattle.
About Free The Children
Free The Children is an international charity and educational partner that has more than 1.7 million young people involved in its programs. Founded in 1995 by international activist Craig Kielburger, Free The Children believes in a world where all young people are free to achieve their fullest potential, and empowers youth to remove barriers that prevent them from being active local and global citizens. The organization’s domestic programs—which includes We Day (www.weday.com), Free The Children’s signature youth empowerment event, and We Act—educate, engage and empower hundreds of thousands of youth in North America, the UK and around the world to become engaged global citizens. Its international projects have brought more than 650 schools and school rooms to youth and provided clean water and sanitation, health care and food security to one million people around the world, freeing children and their families from the cycle of poverty.
The organization has received the World's Children's Prize for the Rights of the Child, the Human Rights Award from the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations, and has formed successful partnerships with leading school districts, school boards and Oprah's Angel Network. For more information, visit www.freethechildren.com.