WE Day, the celebration of young people making a difference in their communities that Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll helped bring to the United States for the first time in 2013, visited Seattle's Key Arena for the fourth straight year on Wednesday.
The event served as a reward for 15,000-plus students from across the state who took part in the WE Schools program, which gives groups access to resources to help them complete local and global actions related to social justice issues of their choice.
The assembly hall was filled with plenty of relatable and inspiring individuals for the youth gathered on site. Carroll, the co-chair of WE Day Seattle, led a "Sea-Hawks!" chant before conveying an encouraging message of togetherness. Quarterback Russell Wilson, a surprise guest, was greeted with deafening roars as he directed the group in a "Me to WE" shout. Former Seahawks wideout Ricardo Lockette, who's currently a free agent, wore his No. 83 Seattle jersey along with a Seahawks cap while discussing how he managed the severe neck injury that ended his 2015 season early. And current Seahawks wideout Doug Baldwin delivered a note on leadership following an introduction from his head coach, or the "old man with the gray hair" who's "a pretty good leader," as Baldwin put it.
"Everybody in here, you guys are all influencers," Baldwin shouted over the rowdy collection of obvious Seahawks supporters. "Which means you're all leaders. … All of you in here are leaders."
The celebrity lineup also included sets from entertainers like Seattle-based hip-hop artist Sol, The Voice winner Jordan Smith, Grammy Award-winning trio The Band Perry, and Wilson's fiancée Ciara, whose performance capped the day. Seattle sports stars Jordan Morris of Seattle Sounders FC and Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm were also on site.
"I want you guys to realize the important impact that you have around the world," Baldwin added during his stint on stage. "… All of you have the opportunity to change the world. … You can do it alone, but I guarantee you it's much, much better and much easier if you do it together.
"This is WE Day, let's change the world together."
To learn more about WE Day and how you or someone you know can get involved, check out www.weday.com.
Coach Pete Carroll, quarterback Russell Wilson, and wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Ricardo Lockette helped celebrate Washington youth's community involvement at 'WE Day' Seattle.