Photo Credit: Free The Children
Backstage at We Day 2012 I had a chance to meet, interview and hang out with some of the awesome people of Free The Children and We Day. At the end of each of my conversations, I asked the question, “What does we day mean to you in 3 words.” It is true that We Day means different things to different people, but in the end, you can see that at the same time, it means the same thing to everyone.
Here are some of their answers:
If you’ve been here to my blog before, you might remember that I was invited to attend We Day in Toronto. What you might not know is that I was not able to go. A few days before my great-grandmother, my “Boo Boo” Rose Grossman died. I couldn’t go because on the day of We Day was her funeral. The people at We Day were so kind and they invited me and my parents to the We Day in Waterloo on November 14! I’m really looking forward to spending We Day in Waterloo! If you follow my blog you probably know that I’m really inspired by Craig and Marc Kielburger, Spencer West and Free The Children. Waterloo won’t be as big and loud as it was in Toronto, since there is only 6000 people in Waterloo compared to 20,000 at The Air Canada Centre. I’m hoping that I have a better chance of meeting Craig and Marc, Spencer and some of the other performers and speakers in Waterloo. Hopefully next year I’ll be able to go to We Day in Toronto and experience the awesomeness of We Day at its biggest venue. For now, I am so happy and grateful to be able to go and be a part of this very special event in Waterloo.
The performers and speakers for We Day Waterloo are……
The hosts and creators of We Day, Craig and Marc Kielburger. I have written here on my blog about these inspiring brothers. Craig started Free The Children with his friends in his class when he was only 12 years old. He believed so much in making a difference in the world that he has inspired thousands of people around the world to join him to bring change – education, safety, clean water, food and medicine – to children around the world. Marc’s passion for the environment started with a science project to create eco-friendly cleaning products. My mom and I recently made our own cleaning supplies following Marc’s example. After learning, reading and watching so much about Craig and Marc, I am so excited to see them in person.
Dr. Dave Williams is President and CEO at South Lake Health Centre, Canadian Physician and Canadian astronaut. Astronaut! I am looking forward to seeing him at We Day because I am excited to hear about his story and I think him being astronaut is so awesome!
Donisha Prendergast is an actress, artist, activist and the granddaughter of Bob and Rita Marley. My dad is especially excited to meet her because he is the Publicist for her uncle, Ziggy Marley.
Dr. James Orbinski is a former International President of Doctors Without Borders.
Liz Murray is a Author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, Breaking Night: my journey from homeless to harvard. I’m looking forward to seeing her speak. She overcame a lot of difficult things to achieve great success.
Martin Sheen is a Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor and activist. I have watched a lot of videos from the We Day website and really liked listening to him speak. He is a very passionate speaker and very committed to social justice. Did you know that he has been arrested more than 60 times at protests?
Spencer West is a Me to We motivational speaker and Free The Children ambassador. I am really excited for Spencer because he is a great role-model for young people. I just finished reading his autobiography, Standing Tall. I have written about Spencer before on my blog.
Shawn Desman is a platinum selling and Juno award winning recording artist. He created the We Day Dance that everyone does at every We Day across the country. It will be fun to do that.
More musical performers will include, These Kids Wear Crowns, Alex Ciccone and Justin Nozuka.
I’m getting excited for We Day Waterloo. I’ve been learning the We Day Dance, have my “Redefine Your Possible” t-shirt, my Water Rafiki Friend Chain and have been watching the video from the recent We Days in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. I’m excited to experience this event that does so much to inspire young people to be the change.
You can learn more about We Day at their website www.weday.com.
Jake Zeldin has struggled with a serious stutter all his life, but when he raps the stutter disappears! My dad, Eric, met him last year, and was so impressed with Jake that he wanted to do the interview with him at the 140 Conference in New York. Below is the video to see him wow the crowd (Jake, not my dad, although I think he did well, too.)
His mother, Robyn, says they worked with different speech therapies but nothing worked. At camp, Jake discovered when he rapped, his stutter disappeared completely. It’s been hard for Jake at school and has been bullied. After this, I’m sure this won’t happen anymore. He’s a huge inspiration to me, and I know to others, as well. Way to go, Jake!
Yesterday we saw this teaser on Facebook from We Day:
They’re not perfect but they’re coming to We Day Toronto in less than three weeks!
Who do you think they are?
They made the picture on purpose and gave a riddle to reveal the first announcement. The answer to the riddle is: Hedley. Their song, Perfect is one of my favourite songs. The first line of the chorus is “I’m not perfect, but I keep trying.”
Now for a personal story about me and Hedley. I went to the 2012 JUNO Awards with my Dad and I met Jacob Hoggard of Hedley in the lobby at our hotel. He was really nice and talked to me for a few minutes and took this photo:
My Dad is a publicist and I got to walk on The Red Carpet for the JUNO Awards. We were walking right behind Hedley. Jacob was signing autographs for fans and he dropped his Sharpie. I stopped to pick it up and give it back to him. He was so nice. We were all in the lounge at a reception before the awards and Dave Rosin, the guitar player in Hedley came up to me and gave one of his guitar picks. When he gave it to me he said “because you’re the coolest girl in the room.” Wow.
So, there it is. The first We Day Toronto performer. Hedley. So excited to see them perform. I’m also excited who else will be at We Day. 18 more days. I’m counting.
I just got invited to We Day in Toronto! I got an email from the We Day Honoured Guest Team and Craig and Marc Kielburger – the two brothers from Toronto who founded Free The Children and We Day – to invite me to be an “honoured guest”.
This is some of what the email said:
Hi Hannah Alper,
We invite you to join us at We Day, Free The Children’s annual signature event!
Engaging passionate youth like yourself in social justice issues and on the road to active citizenship is the greatest responsibility of our country. Here’s where that road begins. At We Day, youth like YOU from all across North America join together with other young world changers and teachers for a day of inspiring speeches and amazing performances.
The energy, passion and excitement you will experience at We Day doesn’t stop there! For thousands of student leaders just like you, We Day also kicks off a year of awareness-raising, fundraising, and volunteering to make a difference in their communities and around the world.
We Day is the chance to be a part of the effort to improve the world we live in by coming together to celebrate young leaders, as well as find the inspiration to create positive change.
Thank you so much for your support. We look forward to seeing you in the fall!
Craig & Marc Kielburger
Co-Founders, Free The Children
I feel lucky, grateful and excited that they invited me. They have read my blog and saw how much I care about the environment and making people aware of the things that they can learn, change and do to take better care of the world.
I can’t wait to be a part of We Day. They haven’t announced the speakers or performers for this year. In the past some of them have been: Justin Bieber, The Jonas Brothers, Dr. Jane Goodall, Vice President Al Gore, K’Naan and Hedley. When they announce who will be there this year, I’ll write about it.
For now, I want to share a video from We Day that really shows how awesome and inspiring a day it will be for me.
To Craig, Marc and everyone at We Day, thank you so much, I can’t wait to be there.
If you have been to We Day, I would love to hear all about it. Please leave a comment.