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We Day

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
We Day
Location(s)Canada, United States and U.K.
Years active2007–2020
Most recent2020
Organized byWE Charity

We Day (stylized as WE Day) was an annual series of stadium-sized youth empowerment events organized by We Charity (formerly known as Free The Children), a Canadian charity founded by brothers Marc and Craig Kielburger. WE Day events host tens of thousands of students and celebrate the effect they have made on local and global issues.[2] Students earn their tickets by participating in the We Schools program, a year-long service learning program run by We Charity. Each event features a lineup of social activists, speakers and musical performances.[3] The event was cancelled in September 2020 with the winding down of Canadian operations of the We Charity, following the WE Charity scandal.[4][5]



The first WE Day was held in October 2007, at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto, Canada. Since then, the program has expanded to include annual events in 17 cities in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, including Vancouver, London, Chicago and Seattle. The event has featured speeches by global leaders such as Al Gore, Elie Wiesel, Martin Luther King III,[6] Kofi Annan[7] and performances by artists such as Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Lilly Singh,[8] Jennifer Hudson and Nelly Furtado.[9]

WE Charity does not charge an admission fee for school groups or individual students to attend WE Days. To earn entry, schools must pledge to engage in one local and one international effort. WE Charity provides a limited number of tickets to each school and lets the schools decide how to choose which students attend. As of 2014, WE Days take place in 14 cities worldwide, with more than 200,000 students from 8,000 schools in attendance.[10][11]

According to the WE Charity website WE Days are funded through dedicated cash and in-kind corporate donations. No program donations from youth or private individuals are used to fund WE Day.[12]

WE Day and its parent organization have been criticized for its industry partnerships, including to companies with ties to child labor around the world.[13] WE Day has also been criticized for perceived promotion of corporate sponsors and for pressuring students to promote we.org through social media.[14][15] In his work on "orphanage tourism," Joseph Cheer, an academic at the Center for Tourism Research at Wakayama University, has criticized WE Day for promoting a for-profit volunteerism model encouraging participants to essentially reframe selfishness as altruistic.[16] Due to a 2020 controversy concerning a contract award, We Charity has scrapped WE Day "for the foreseeable future" in a restructuring move.[17]

WE Schools


WE Schools campaigns cover a range of social issues, such as "WE Scare Hunger", in which participants collect canned food items for their local food banks each Halloween,[18] and "WE Are Silent", a vow of silence in which participants stay silent for 24 hours in solidarity with children overseas whose rights are not upheld.[19]





The event was cancelled in September 2020 with the winding down of Canadian operations of the We Charity, following the WE Charity scandal.[4]


  1. ^ "Squamish represents at We Day 2014".
  2. ^ "WE Day". ctv.ca. 2018-09-13. Archived from the original on July 11, 2017. Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  3. ^ "Stars shine at We Day, inspire students to change the world". The Seattle Times. 2013-03-27. Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  4. ^ a b Slaughter, Graham (9 September 2020). "Kielburgers 'devastated' by We Charity closure but say 'there's no one to blame'". CTVNews.
  5. ^ Tasker, John Paul. "WE Charity winding down operations in Canada after student grants scandal". cbc.ca.
  6. ^ "We Day Toronto: MLK III Shares A Secret With We Day". HuffPost Canada. 2013-09-20. Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  7. ^ "Empowering young global citizens at "We Day"". Kofi Annan Foundation. 2014-08-28. Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  8. ^ Friend, David (2018-11-13). "'Superwoman' star Lilly Singh joins creators taking a break from YouTube". CP24. Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  9. ^ "'We Day Family' event encourages kids, parents to help change the world | Entertainment & Showbiz from CTV News". www.ctvnews.ca. Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  10. ^ "We Day creating compassionate Saskatchewan youth". Global News. Retrieved 2018-11-24.
  11. ^ Sanders, Hosea (2015-04-15). "We Day celebrates volunteering across community, globe". ABC7 Chicago. Retrieved 2018-11-24.
  12. ^ "WE Day Special Airs Friday August 17 on ABC! | ABC Updates". ABC. Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  13. ^ Kerr, Jaren (15 October 2018). "Craig Kielburger Founded WE To Fight Child Labour. Now The WE Brand Promotes Products Made By Children". Canada Land.
  14. ^ "We Day's blend of activism, corporate messages prompts criticism from teacher". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. November 16, 2015. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  15. ^ Atkinson, Alison (2013-10-30). "A Teacher's Critique of 'We Day'". The Tyee. Retrieved 2020-01-30.
  16. ^ Cheer, Joseph M.; Mathews, Leigh; Doore, Kathryn E. van; Flanagan, Karen (2019-11-25). Modern Day Slavery and Orphanage Tourism. CABI. ISBN 978-1-78924-079-5.
  17. ^ Bensadoun, Emerald (July 22, 2020). "WE Charity cancels WE Day activities for 'foreseeable future' after grant controversy". Global News. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  18. ^ "Another We Scare Hunger Campaign".
  19. ^ "Free The Children We Are Silent Campaign".
  20. ^ a b Irish, Paul. "Rallying to spark change," Toronto Star. Oct. 16, 2008 https://www.thestar.com/SpecialSections/article/517384
  21. ^ Paul Irish: Rallying to spark change. Toronto Star. October 16, 2008.
  22. ^ “National Me to We Day.” CTV News. Oct. 16, 2008.
  23. ^ Lori Culbert and Mary Frances Hill: "'Social change is possible' 16,000 learn at We Day," Vancouver Sun. September 30, 2009.
  24. ^ Sunny Dhillon: "B.C. youth, Dalai Lama mark We Day,".[usurped] Cnews. September 29, 2009.
  25. ^ "Selena Gomez to Host We Day Vancouver!". We Day. 12 July 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  26. ^ O'Neill, Doug (3 March 2014). "We Day London 2014". Canadian Living. Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  27. ^ "Celebrites [sic] Support Youth At We Day Illinois". Look to the Stars. 2015-05-04. Retrieved 2018-11-24.
  28. ^ "Celebrities Help Young Volunteers Mark "We Day" In Illinois". 2015-04-30. Retrieved 2018-11-24.
  29. ^ "Selena Gomez Hosting 'We Day' 2015 | Maui | Z100 Portland". Z100 Portland. Retrieved 2018-11-24.
  30. ^ "Michelle Obama added to 'We Day' special hosted by Selena Gomez". EW.com. Retrieved 2018-11-24.
  31. ^ "TV Ratings Friday: 'We Day' Low, 'Dateline' Up, '20/20′ Down, 'Masters of Illusion' Flat". TV By The Numbers. 2015-08-22. Archived from the original on 2017-07-09. Retrieved 2018-11-24.
  32. ^ "We Day Toronto Line-up Announcement" (PDF). We Day. September 22, 2015. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  33. ^ "WE Day Toronto 2015: The Recap". We Day. October 1, 2015. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  34. ^ "'We Day Family' event encourages kids, parents to help change the world | Entertainment & Showbiz from CTV News". www.ctvnews.ca. 13 October 2016. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  35. ^ "High-octane We Day Toronto sparks young minds". Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  36. ^ "Talent lineup for We Day Toronto". Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  37. ^ "Gord Downie captures students' attention with emotional performance at We Day | Globalnews.ca". globalnews.ca. 2016-10-19. Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  38. ^ "Press release: WE Day UN in New York celebrates young people changing the world". UN Women. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  39. ^ Croezen, Alyssa. "WE Day UN Takes New York". Archived from the original on January 10, 2019. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  40. ^ Canada, HELLO!. "Kelly Clarkson set to host Toronto WE Day events | HELLO! Canada". ca.hellomagazine.com. Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  41. ^ "Prince Harry, Other WE Day Stars Put An All-Call Out For Kindness". HuffPost Canada. 2017-09-28. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  42. ^ "WE 2017". The Rumi Foundation. Retrieved 2024-04-19.
  43. ^ Craig, Nicola (2017-03-08). "WE Day Announce UK Line Up". CelebMix. Retrieved 2024-04-19.
  44. ^ ForesiReporter, Tiffany (2019-01-03). "The York Family's Royal Year in Review". Royal Central. Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  45. ^ "WE Day schedule 2018". Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  46. ^ BWW News Desk. "WE Day UN Celebrates With Sarah Michelle Gellar, Darren Criss, Nas, And More!". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  47. ^ "Surprise! Prince Harry Shocks Crowd at Youth Event by 'Dragging' Meghan Markle on Stage". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  48. ^ "Prince Harry surprises crowd, brings Duchess Meghan on stage for WE Day appearance". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  49. ^ "WE Day lineup: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Laurie Hernandez among speakers". ABC7 Chicago. 2019-04-24. Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  50. ^ Earley, Helen (2017-11-23). "We Day Atlantic: Empowering Youth to Create Change". Family Fun Halifax. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  51. ^ "Bianca Andreescu Gives Inspirational Surprise Speech At Toronto's We Day (VIDEO)". www.narcity.com. Retrieved 2019-10-22.