WE Day, an international series of events that ignites millions of young people around the globe to build a more caring and compassionate world, releases a first teaser of the lineup of speakers, and performers attending the inaugural WE Day UN, with more names to be announced soon. In partnership with UNAIDS, UN Global Compact, and other UN agencies, and with the support of the Government of Canada, WE Day UN will take place during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on September 20, 2017 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. WE and the UN agencies have long been aligned in their beliefs that youth play an integral role in building peace and stability and share in the responsibility of improving our world. Alongside partners, led by Co-Title Sponsors The Allstate Foundation, Unilever, Walgreens and Microsoft, WE Day UN will bring thousands of Tri-state area youth together with celebrity speakers, renowned performers, and world leaders to share in celebrating the power of young people to change the world. Thousands more from all around the globe will tune it online via live webcast.
WE Day is part of WE, a family of organizations making doing good, doable. WE is made up of WE Charity, empowering domestic and international change, ME to WE, a social enterprise that creates socially conscious products and experiences to help support the charity, and WE Day, filling stadiums around the world with the greatest celebration of social good. WE enables youth and families to better the world – supporting 2,500+ local and global causes by volunteering millions of hours of service, shopping daily with an impact, and raising millions of dollars that directly benefit their local communities and the world. Globally, our teams in Asia, Africa, and Latin America have provided more than 1 million people with clean water, built 1,000 schools and schoolrooms overseas, and empowered more than 200,000 children with access to education. WE was founded more than 20 years ago by social entrepreneurs, brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger. Join the movement today at WE.org.
Hosted by Jordan Fisher, distinguished speakers and performers taking the stage include, Princess Beatrice Elizabeth Mary of York, Chelsea Clinton, Whoopi Goldberg, Laurie Hernandez, Jessie Reyez, Margaret Trudeau, and more, alongside world leaders, including Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Mary Robinson and President Ellen Sirleaf. This renowned lineup—with more exciting additions still to be announced—will join international activists and WE co-founders, Craig and Marc Kielburger. Together they will share their passion for change and energize the crowd with unforgettable performances and motivational dialogue to define a stronger world—this year, by 2030, and beyond—and what people of all ages can do collectively to ensure that future is met.
“WE is an organization that is very close to my heart and I couldn’t be happier to be back at WE Day for the fifth time as host of WE Day UN,” said actor and recording artist, Jordan Fisher. “The thousands of young people coming to WE Day UN realize the special power in community. They will join together to raise their voices and help others raise their voices, and I’m thrilled to share a room with these future leaders of our world.”
This academic year, WE joins forces with UNAIDS, UN Global Compact, and other UN agencies to incorporate Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into more than 14,500 schools across the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada through WE Schools, WE’s domestic educational program. Building upon the local, community focus of WE Day New York | Welcome—which took place in April, 2017 at Radio City Music Hall—WE Day UN will have a distinctly global focus. As the UNGA amasses 193 world leaders to present their outlooks about pressing world issues, WE Day UN will continue these instrumental conversations to motivate the next generation of world leaders. Together WE and the UN agencies believe that young people are powerful and active agents for change, and to meet the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it is imperative that organizations engage youth, providing tools and resources that support them in their actions to create global change.
“We are thrilled to be back in New York for WE Day UN, celebrating the young leaders who have worked to make an impact on their communities at home and around the globe,” said Craig Kielburger, co-founder of WE. “It is a true honor to partner with agencies of the United Nations, and together engage an entire generation in the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We know that the thousands of passionate New York youth—and thousands more watching online—will be moved to challenge and encourage current world leaders to live up to their commitments.”
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, the program is designed to enhance a school’s existing social initiatives or spark new ones. WE Schools encourages students to further their curricular learning and develop life skills for success beyond the classroom. In a recent survey of American educators with student participants in WE Schools, it was found that 90.6 percent felt their students had developed stronger communication skills, 90.8 percent said students established a greater connection to their local and global community, and 88.9 percent believed students had greater enthusiasm for learning as a direct result of WE Schools’ programming.
Students can’t buy a ticket to WE Day—youth from across the country earn their way by the actions they take on one local and one global cause of their choice. This year WE Day is celebrating Generation WE—a generation filled with young people coming together to show their strength in numbers, Generation WE has the power to change local landscapes, for good. Generation WE is also about tackling global issues beyond one’s local sphere, expanding horizons to build worldwide cultural and social bridges. WE Day—the world’s largest youth empowerment event—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. Nationally, WE Day is supported by Co-Chairs Tom Wilson, Chairman and CEO, Allstate; Jane Francisco, Editorial Director of Hearst Lifestyle Group and Editor in Chief of Good Housekeeping; Steve Robinson, CEO, Reimagine & Janet Crown, Philanthropist, Crown Family Philanthropies; Brett Tollman, CEO, The Travel Corporation, and Mike Dobbins Head, Strategy and Corporate Development, RBC.
The initial list of WE Day UN performers and speakers in alphabetical order, announced to date includes:
Host: Jordan Fisher
Performers: Celebrity Marauders, Kenyan Boys Choir, Jessie Reyez
Speakers: Katherine Chambers, Chelsea Clinton, Monique Coleman, Whoopi Goldberg, Laurie Hernandez, Brandon Larracuente, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Ashley Murphy, Mpumi Nobiva, Mary Robinson, Dr. Jacqueline Sanderlin, Her Excellency President Ellen Sirleaf, Margaret Trudeau, Spencer West, Princess Beatrice Elizabeth Mary of York, Ambassador Andrew Young
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.