WE Day, a series of inspiring stadium-sized life-changing events that take place around the world, has announced the initial list of speakers, performers and presenters attending WE Day UK on March 22 at The SSE Arena, Wembley.
WE Day is part of WE - an organisation that brings people together and gives them the tools to change the world locally and globally, achieving transformative outcomes for themselves and others.
Alongside partners led by UK Title Supporter Virgin Atlantic, WE Day UK will bring together 12,000 young people alongside inspirational speakers and world renowned performers to celebrate their commitment to taking action on issues globally and in their own communities.
Taking the stage this year is a cast of new faces and returning WE Day favourites, including Kate Winslet, The Vamps, Jessie J, Paula Abdul, Fleur East, Margaret Trudeau, Bruce Dickinson, Becca Dudley, Bluey Robinson Yasmin Evans, Tallia Storm, Shakii, Celebrity Marauders, Spencer West and more.
This star-studded line-up will join international activists and WE co-founders, Craig and Marc Kielburger, to share their passion for change and energise the crowd with unforgettable performances and motivational speeches to inspire another year of change.
"There is a lot of negativity in the world today. Whether at school, on social media, or in the news - it's easy to get weighed down by it all, and easy to forget one's true self," said Winslet.
"But when people from all walks of life come together to achieve a common goal, real strength in unity can happen, and change can have its place.
"That's what WE Day is - young people, coming together, to make positive change in the world."
WE Day is a true celebration of young people taking action. A shining example is six-year-old Xavier Shoqat, who is helping children everywhere to celebrate diversity. It started with a simple idea: Xavi created a poster representing the different flags of the many countries his classmates and teachers come from, which he hoped to display around his school. Now Xavi is planning a nationwide campaign. It is his dream that every school will soon have their own diversity poster, which will act as a universal sign of acceptance and equality.
Craig Kielburger, co-founder of WE, said: "WE Day celebrates the amazing young people who have taken action at home and around the world, to create sustainable change for a better tomorrow.
Real change can happen
"Standing in an arena full of passionate young people will affirm your belief that real change can happen- and is happening every single day right here in the UK. This past school year more than 3,075 schools across the UK made an incredible impact in their own local area and in communities around the world through their commitment and passion for change."
You can't buy a ticket to WE Day - students from across the UK 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 in the UK by Title Supporter Virgin Atlantic. Virgin Atlantic believes in empowering young people to build a brighter, more sustainable future.
WE Day engages students of all socio-economic backgrounds through WE Schools, a year-long educational programme that provides schools and community groups with educational resources and student-led campaigns 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. Young people are challenged to research and make an impact on at least one local and one global issue, and supported with curricular resources, active citizenship campaigns and mentorship programmes to help them become change-makers.
In the 2015/16 school year, students and teachers from across the UK participated in remarkable social change. More than 3,075 schools across the UK have improved the world through WE Schools, volunteering more than one million hours and raising more than £1.5m in support of global issues and local causes including education, clean water, homelessness and hunger.
Pupils at Chesterton Primary School in the London Borough of Wandsworth know that they have the power to make a positive difference to the world. Nursery pupils are learning about the right to clean water in preparation for their upcoming sponsored walk as part of WE's WE Walk for Water campaign.
Powerful awareness raiser
Meanwhile, older year groups are confronting local homelessness with a powerful awareness raiser. By spending the night in their school hall, pupils faced up to the realities of homelessness, reflecting on what it might be like to be homeless by posting anonymous notes in a worry box. By delving into local and global issues from day one, the pupils of Chesterton Primary School are the compassionate leaders of today and tomorrow.
A global movement of 2.4m young people strong, young people involved with WE have raised £63.9m for more than 2,500 local and global organisations, volunteered 27.8m hours for local and global causes and collected over 3.4m kilograms of food through active citizenship programmes and campaigns.
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 are joining the WE Community and making a commitment to live WE every day.
WE Day is supported in the UK by Co-Chairs Lord Rumi Verjee, Founder, The Rumi Foundation; and Holly Branson, Trustee, Virgin Unite & Big Change Charitable Trust.
On the bill
The initial list of WE Day UK speakers, performers and presenters, in alphabetical order, announced to date includes:
- Paula Abdul (@PaulaAbdul) – American singer-songwriter, dancer, choreographer, actress and television personality
- Francesca Brown – CEO & Founder of Goals4Girls
- Celebrity Marauders – International DJ collective including Kardinal Offishall, Cipha Sounds, DJ Starting From Scratch and Dready
- Bruce Dickinson – Lead singer of Iron Maiden, Commercial Pilot and Entrepreneur
- Becca Dudley (@BeccaDudley) – TV and Radio presenter
- Fleur East (@FleurEast) – Singer
- Yasmin Evans (@YasminEvans) – TV and Radio presenter
- Jessie J (@JessieJ) – Award-winning singer and songwriter
- Craig and Marc Kielburger (@craigkielburger) – International activists and co-founders of WE
- Nungshi + Tashi Malik (@NungshiTashi) – World's youngest persons to complete Explorers Grand Slam (Last Degree)
- Bluey Robinson (@BlueyRobinson)– Singer-songwriter and recording artist
- Shakii (@ShakiiPoetry) – Writer and performer
- Tallia Storm (@Tallia_Storm) – Scottish R&B and soul singer
- Margaret Trudeau (@MargaretTrudeau) – Celebrated Canadian, author, mental health advocate
- The Vamps (@TheVampsBand) – Chart topping pop-rock band
- Spencer West (@spencer2thewest) – ME to WE motivational speaker, WE ambassador and author
- Kate Winslet – Academy Award® winning actress
- Wilson & Jackson – The Last Maasai Warriors