By Lori Harnick, General Manager, Citizenship & Public Affairs
Have you heard of We Day?
We Day, an initiative of Free The Children, is a concert, a rally, and a celebration of a movement to inspire and encourage young people to serve their communities and work together to make the world a better place.
We Day events have been taking place in Canada since 2007 and on March 27, 2013 the first ever We Day event in the United States will take place at Key Arena in Seattle. The lineup is impressive: musical artists Jennifer Hudson, Nelly Furtado, and MC Hammer; actors and activists Martin Sheen and Mia Farrow and a number of athletes, including Magic Johnson, Gary Payton, and Seattle Seahawks Coach Peter Carroll.
The common thread between all of the special guests – whether they’re athletes, actors, singers, or public figures – is that they share a passion for igniting social change in their communities and around the world. And there’s a surprise talent yet to be announced.
As a co-title sponsor of the event, we are thrilled to help bring the first We Day to the United States. We launched Microsoft YouthSpark in September 2012 to help young people discover new opportunities for education, entrepreneurship, and employment. The We Day movement, with its focus on inspiring the next generation fits well with the mission of Microsoft YouthSpark to empower youth to imagine and realize their full potential.
More than 350 schools in Washington State are participating in We Day, and 15,000 driven students who have launched community service projects both large and small will be invited to attend. We Day is sure to be an inspirational reward for thousands of young people in our region who have dedicated their time and energy to supporting the causes that they care about.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will be on the main stage at We Day to share his thoughts on the unique opportunity that young people have to change the world. We’ll also have a YouthSpark Stage at the event where we’ll share the inspiring stories of young people in our region who volunteer for various community service efforts and, as a result, inspire their friends and families to engage in social good. We’ll also share observations and stories from our YouthSpark reporters who will be on-site all day capturing the stories of their schoolmates and friends’ involvement in this great cause.
If you or someone you know is participating in We Day this year, let us know and share your story in the comments. We’re looking forward to seeing you there to celebrate young people who are sparking change in the world.