Another WE Day has come and gone in Vancouver. The experience of WE Day is one of my favourite annual traditions. I’ve had the great opportunity of taking part for 3 years in a row now as a guest of TELUS and every year, I get more out of the event than I did the year before.
What is WE Day?
WE Day is held in stadiums around the world, bringing together tens of thousands of youth under the same roof. The caveat? You cannot buy your way into this event – you have to EARN your ticket. Each student in attendance will have taken action on one local and one global cause over the course of the year, earning them a coveted spot at the much-anticipated WE Day. The event is hosted by world-renowned speakers and award-winning performers, making this event highly desirable to elementary and highschool kids alike. (OK, and full-grown adults, like me! Who am I kidding?)
WE Day touches on many important messages each year and the lineup of speakers who are sharing these messages is impressive! Some of the speakers and performers at this year’s Vancouver WE Day were:
- Paula Abdul
- George Takei
- Kardinal Offishall
- Serena Ryder
- Spencer West
- Chloe Wilde
- Olivia Holt
- Margaret Trudeau
- Tyler Shaw
That’s just to name a few!
Some WE Day statistics
- $79 million has been raised for more than 6500 local and global organizations
- 27.6 million hours have been volunteered for local and global causes
- 9.8 million pounds of food have been collected by youth for local food banks
- There are 920 WE Schools in Vancouver alone!
My WE Day takeaway
There are always a few messages that resonate the most with me each year and, this year, there was a big focus on mental health. Margaret Trudeau spoke to the audience about her struggle with Bipolar Disorder and you could have heard a pin drop in the arena. It was raw. It was real. It was a privilege to wtiness such vulnerability from someone as respected as Margaret Trudeau. My hope is that she reached anyone in attendance who was feeling at all alone in their anxiety, depression or any other mental illness with her plea to get help.
Another part of the event that deeply affected me was when the 20,000 youth in attendance were asked to light up their phones and hold them in the air if they have ever been cyberbullied. In a matter of seconds, the arena lit up and my heart broke simultaneously.
It is increasingly easier for kids to be bullied in this day and age, largely due to social media. As one of WE Day’s proud sponsors, TELUS has provided more than $17 million dollars to the event and everything it stands for – online education and safety for our children being one of these key objectives. TELUS is encouraging youth to #RiseAbove cyberbullying and to create positive social change through social media. As an educator and a parent, this is something that is VERY important to me!
— Jessica ~ N.S. Mama (@NShoreMama) November 3, 2016
To learn more about the WE Movement and how you and your kids can get involved: