SEATTLE, WA - Today, international charity and educational partner Free The Children, alongside Co-Title Sponsors Microsoft and The Allstate Foundation, announced the lineup of world-renowned leaders and A-list entertainers, including Edward Norton, Joe Jonas and Cody Simpson. The event is set to captivate 15,000 students and teachers from over 450 schools across Washington state at We Day Seattle on March 21 at KeyArena.
Organized by Free The Children, We Day is taking the philanthropic world by storm and going global with events in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Over 180,000 youth this year alone will come together to take part in an unprecedented educational initiative which inspires students to become active local and global citizens.
"We were so fired up to see the impact thousands of young people from across Washington made last year as part of the We Day movement," said Pete Carroll, head coach of the Seattle Seahawks. "Like us they were just getting warmed up. This year, we are excited to bring students back to We Day Seattle to celebrate their incredible work and support them as they continue to make their marks on the world."
Leading the day full of educational speeches, inspirational moments and show stopping performances will be Free The Children ambassador, Jesse Giddings as co-host for We Day Seattle, along with international activists and co-founders of Free The Children, Craig and Marc Kielburger. The star-studded list of speakers and performers announced to date includes:
* Edward Norton (@EdwardNorton) - Actor, Filmmaker, and Co-founder, CrowdRise
* Joe Jonas (@joejonas) - GRAMMY®-nominated, multi-platinum artist and Free The Children ambassador
* Cody Simpson (@CodySimpson) - Australian pop singer and award-winning musician
* Hannah Alper (CallmeHannah.ca) - 11-year-old Me to We inspirational speaker, Free The Children ambassador, blogger and youth activist
* Pete Carroll (@PeteCarroll) - Head Coach of the Seattle Seahawks, 2014 Super Bowl Champions, and We Day Seattle Co-Chair
* Molly Burke (@mollymetowe) - Visually impaired Me to We inspirational speaker, Free The Children ambassador and author, who speaks about bullying and the power of hope
* Roger Levesque - Seattle Sounders FC alum
* Devon Bostick (@DevBostick) - Actor, director, writer, producer, best known for the feature film franchise Diary of a Wimpy Kid
* Martin Luther King III - Human rights advocate and eldest son of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
* Spencer West (@spencer2thewest) - Me to We inspirational speaker, Free The Children ambassador, author and double amputee who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro
* ...with more to be announced
We Day Seattle will also see local youth leaders and performers take the stage including Nandie Oosthuzien, Founder and CEO of Hand and Heart, local youth Adora Syitak and Daniel Franco, The Connection, a local hip hop dance group, and the Seattle Rock Orchestra.
"I have been working with Free The Children for several years and the impact that students across the country have on kids just like themselves globally is incredible," said Joe Jonas, GRAMMY-nominated, multi-platinum artist. "It's something that I had the chance to experience firsthand this past summer in Kenya. I saw and really understood how the students putting on bake sales and raising money here, fundamentally improves the chance for others to receive an education; something we often take for granted."
"The impact that youth can make when they are engaged and passionate about the issues they are addressing is remarkable," said Craig Kielburger, co-founder of Free The Children. "The inaugural We Day Seattle welcomed 15,000 young people from 350 schools in over 100 different school districts. The accompanying We Act program has reached almost 230,000 community members throughout Washington state, supporting over 250 charities and non-profit organizations and creating powerful impacts among participants and in the community. That's why exposing thousands of students at We Day to a variety of issues is so valuable; it creates a space for them to use their passions and abilities to make real change and we're excited to see what they will do again this year."
"Last year's launch of We Day Seattle filled me with great hope for the future as I saw thousands of students celebrating the power of community engagement, fueled by technology innovation," said Lori Forte Harnick, general manager, Citizenship and Public Affairs, Microsoft. "Youth inspire us, and this is why Microsoft made a commitment to bring We Day back to Seattle for the next three years as part of our YouthSpark initiative."
"We are thrilled to be joining forces with We Day and Free The Children to inspire and engage students all across America to be active citizens. The Allstate Foundation cares about supporting the work of young people who are trying to make the world a better place and we see a strong parallel between the work of The Allstate Foundation and Free The Children," said Vicky Dinges, Senior Vice President, Corporate Responsibility, Allstate Insurance Company "We're just getting started with We Day Seattle and California, and are excited to see our two organizations grow together to empower even more young people all across America to be forces for good in their community and around the world."
The event will be live streamed at www.q13fox.com on March 21 starting at 9:15 a.m. PDT.
We Day has over 1 million followers on Twitter and is one of the world's largest charitable causes on Facebook with 3.7 million fans. Stay connected with We Day and Free The Children through the following social networking channels:
About Free The Children
Free The Children is an international charity and educational partner. Founded in 1995 by international activist Craig Kielburger, Free The Children believes in a world where young people are free to achieve their fullest potential, and empowers youth to remove barriers that prevent them from being active local and global citizens. The organization's domestic programs - which include We Day, Free The Children's signature youth empowerment event - educate, engage and empower 2.3 million youth across North America and UK become engaged global citizens. Its international projects have brought more than 650 schools and school rooms to youth and provided clean water, health care and sanitation to 1 million people around the world, freeing children and their families from the cycle of poverty.
The organization has received the World's Children's Prize for the Rights of the Child, the Human Rights Award from the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations, and has formed successful partnerships with leading school boards and Oprah's Angel Network. For more information, visit www.freethechildren.com