I first heard about the Me to We movement when a friend passed on the book by the same name “Me to We: Together We Change The World”. As I flipped through the pages, I was incredibly inspired by the stories around the life-changing philosophy of shifting the mindset from “me” to “we”. So when TELUS asked me if I wanted to part in WE Day in Vancouver last week, I was quick to say YES!
WE Day is an event started by the charity Free The Children around the Me to We movement. The day celebrates the remarkable stories of people leading change in their communities. And who was invited? A list of world-renowned speakers and performers including Colbie Caillat, Hedley, Barenaked Ladies, Marlee Matlin, Chris Hadfield, Henry Winkler and Silken Laumann and 20,000 students and educators from over 700 schools. These students earned their tickets to WE Day by participating in WE Day’s yearlong education program WE Schools, where they volunteered their time to local and global causes.
The day kick-off with WE Day co-founder Craig Kielburger. Craig’s story is quite remarkable. At the age of 12, he read a headline in the morning paper, “Battled Child Labour, Boy, 12, Murdered.” – feeling an immediate connection to the story, he took the paper to school and asked his classmates if they would help him tackle the issue of child labour. 11 students put up their hands and Free The Children was born. He continues to inspire kids 20 years later, helpings students like the ones at WE Day discover a cause that’s meaningful to them, addressing issues including poverty, hunger, environment and global.
I had the honour of meeting Craig along with other digital influencers and the TELUS Team. Right before we met Craig, Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin had taken the stage, Marlee who is deaf used sign language to share her personal story.
Throughout the day we heard stories directly from students making a difference in the world. One of those was UBC student Hamza Ahmad. Hamza was a bully till he was 19, not until his older brother confided in him that he was battling depression from being bullied himself did Hamza understand the destruction of his behaviour. He started How To Be A Bully, a social enterprise that focusses on bullying prevention.
Two of the speakers at WE Day were retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield and Jacob Hoggard from Hedley. As Chris took the stage later in the day, he hoped “every young person will leave with their moment to discover their cause today” and become “agents of positive change”.
One of the performers on WE Day was Canadian artist Francesco Yates. If you haven’t heard of this talent (he’s worked with Pharrell), I’m pretty sure you will very very soon. TELUS, the national co-title sponsor of WE Day has partnered with Francesco to create the social anthem of our time, a remixed version of his hit song “Call“. Call challenges young people across the country to accept the call to change the world and make a difference in their community.
Now it’s your turn to help make a difference. Spread the word and share the #CallForChange video below, with every video share, TELUS will donate $10 to Free the Children.