WE Day, a powerful series of educational events that combines the energy of a live concert with the inspiration of extraordinary stories of leadership and change, announces the full list of speakers and performers attending WE Day UK on 9 March 2016 at The SSE Arena, Wembley.
Alongside partners led by Co-Title Supporters Virgin Atlantic Airways and Barclays, WE Day UK will bring together 12,000 students and teachers in an inspirational setting, celebrating the commitment they have made to take action on local and global causes they care about.
Taking the stage this year is a cast of new faces and returning WE Day favourites, including Princess Beatrice, Labrinth, Holly Branson, Darren Criss, Nico & Vinz, Marlee Matlin, Professor Brian Cox, Karl Lokko and more. Co-hosted by MTV's Laura Whitmore, Bluey Robinson, Yasmin Evans and Becca Dudley, this star-studded line-up will join international activists and WE Day co-founders, Craig and Marc Kielburger, to share their passion for change and international experiences and energise the crowd with unforgettable performances and motivational speeches.
Singer and actress Rita Ora said: "People say that young people are the future, but I believe that they're our present. I'm excited to join a movement like WE Day that offers students a platform to use their voice, embrace what they believe in, and collectively make a difference in the world. WE Day empowers young people to create change and impact social issues and I can't wait to join the movement and support them along their journey."
Inspiring personal stories
Joining the lineup above on stage will be young people from across the UK with inspiring personal stories, like Sohana Collins, age 13. Sohana was diagnosed at birth with Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (RDEB), a rare and painful skin condition where the lightest brush to her skin will cause it to burn and blister. Sohana is the face and inspiration behind The Sohana Research Fund, a charity dedicated to finding a treatment for this disease, Sohana is hopeful for a cure for her and the 8,000 children and adults from across the UK that suffer from RDEB. Although daunted by everyday tasks like eating or bathing, Sohana remains positive, bringing strength and light to those around her with laughter, poetry, painting and dance. Sohana is just one of the many young people who will share their story to motivate their WE Day peers.
Host of WE Day UK, Laura Whitmore said: "I hosted WE Day UK last year, and left the day in absolute awe, moved by the energy and power that radiated from the thousands of students in the audience. Each young person at WE Day has earned their ticket there - I can't wait to celebrate their hard work and motivate them to continue pushing for change around the world."
A platform for young people
WE Day is an inspirational event like no other, bringing together like-minded individuals and providing a platform for young people to learn about some of today's most pressing issues. WE Day celebrates and inspires this generation's shift from me to we - towards acting with intention, leading with compassion, and a belief in the power of community.
Taking the philanthropic world by storm with 14 stadium-sized events in the UK, Canada and the US, WE Day is one of the world's largest non-profit initiatives on social media, with more than five million followers.
Founder of WE Day, Craig Kielburger said: "Every year, 200,000 students around the world, from over 10,000 schools, earn their tickets to WE Day through the yearlong WE Schools programme, creating tangible benefits for the community they serve and demonstrating positive long-term social impacts. WE Day UK will unite and celebrate 12,000 young leaders who are working together to support local and global charities in line with causes they care about most."
More than a one-day event, WE Day is connected to the year- long WE Schools programme, which provides hands-on, student-led campaigns designed to enhance a school's existing social initiatives or to spark new ones. WE Schools helps young people turn the day's inspiration into sustained action.
By taking action on one local and one global cause, students are equipped with the tools to succeed academically, in the working world and as active citizens. Together, WE Day and WE Schools are a blueprint for building the next generation of change-makers. A global movement of 2.3 million young people, students involved with WE Day and WE Schools have raised £40 million for more than 2,500 local and global organisations, volunteered 19.9 million hours for local and global causes and collected over 3.4 million kilograms of food.
Local and global causes
In the 2014/2015 school year, students and teachers from across the UK participated in remarkable social change. Over 300,000 young people were inspired to take steps to improve the world through, WE Schools; volunteering more than 217,600 million hours for local and global causes and raising over £1,241,600 in support of local and global organisations.
You can't buy a ticket to WE Day - students from across the country earn their way by the actions they take on one local and one global cause of their choice. WE Day is free of charge to the thousands of students and teachers in attendance, thanks to the generous support of partners led by Co-Title Supporters Virgin Atlantic Airways and Barclays.
The list of speakers, performers and presenters announced to date includes:
- Labrinth (@Labrinthda1st) – Singer, songwriter and record producer
- Nico & Vinz (@NicoandVinz) – Musical duo, Nico Sereba and Vinz Dery
- Princess Beatrice (@yorkiebea)
- Holly Branson (@HollyBranson) – Patron of Free The Children UK, Co-Chair of WE Day UK, Trustee and Founder of Big Change Charitable Trust and Chair of Virgin Unite
- Sam Branson (@sambranson) – Social Entrepreneur and Big Changer
- Marlee Matlin (@MarleeMatlin) – Academy® Award-winning actress and devoted social activist
- Darren Criss (@DarrenCriss) – Actor, singer, songwriter and musician
- Karl Lokko (@MistaC_mon) – Activist/Influencer and Big Changer
- Laura Whitmore (@thewhitmore) – Co-Host of WE Day UK
- Bluey Robinson (@BlueyRobinson) – Co-Host of WE Day UK
- Yasmin Evans (@YasminEvans) – Co-Host of WE Day UK
- Becca Dudley (@BeccaDudley) – Co-Host of WE Day UK
- Professor Brian Cox OBE – Advanced Fellow of particle physics at the University of Manchester, Royal Society Professor for Public Engagement in Science and broadcaster
- Lord Rumi Verjee - Founder of The Rumi Foundation and WE Day UK Co-Chair
- Craig and Marc Kielburger (@craigkielburger) – International activists and co-founders of WE Day
- Spencer West (@spencer2thewest) – ME to WE motivational speaker, Free The Children ambassador and author
- Liam Hackett
- Sohana Collins (@SohanaResearchF) – Inspirational youth speaker and face of The Sohana Research Fund
About the WE Day Movement
WE Day is the movement of our time - a movement of young people leading local and global change.
WE Day celebrates and inspires this generation's shift from me to we - towards acting with intention, leading with compassion, and a belief in the power of community. WE Day is one of the world's largest registered non-profit initiatives on social media, with more than five million followers. This year alone over 200,000 young people will come together in 14 stadium gatherings across the UK, Canada and the US to take part in this unprecedented educational initiative.
More than a one-day event, WE Day is connected to a year-long free educational programme, WE Schools, which provides educational resources and campaigns to help young people turn the day's inspiration into sustained action.
WE Day and WE Schools are cause inclusive, empowering young people to find their passion and create the change they want to see. Together WE Day and WE Schools are a blueprint for building the next generation of global change-makers.
For more information, please visit www.we.org