WE Day Ottawa
November 9, 2016 started as a sombre day for many, as people across the world awoke to the results of the American election. Luckily for me, the day’s mood had a quick turnaround, as I attended high-energy, positive and inspiring WE Day Ottawa, along with 16,000 local students and educators.
WE Day is a yearly event for youth that takes place in cities across Canada, and now the U.S. and U.K. The event is free for participants thanks to national sponsors, and students earn their way to theevent by taking on one local and one global issue of their choosing.
The event in Ottawa was packed with exciting moments, including high energy performances by Classified, Hedley and student dancers. There were inspiring appearances by Paula Abdul, Margaret Trudeau, Gord Downie and Rick Hansen. There were two highlights of the day for me: the first was having the opportunity to personally ask Craig Kielburger, founder of WE Day, a question at an intimate Q & A session. I wanted to know how we as parents can promote positivity and inclusion with our kids in a world where individuals who make sexist and racist comments can be rewarded with public office. Craig responded that there are many people today feeling powerless, and that the best way to empower our kids is to give them opportunities to make positive contributions. The WE Movement does just that, getting youth involved in serving their local and global communities.
The second highlight for me was the surprise appearance by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The crowd went crazy when he appeared on stage, and he congratulated the participants, reminding them that they are not only leaders of the future, but leaders of today. He also emphasized that the world needs more Canada, more positivity, more inclusion, more cooperation, now more than ever.
As a parent raising children in a sometimes uncaring world, I am extremely heartened that the WE Movement exists, and is growing every year. I’ve been inspired to implement the WE Day values with my family using the WE at Home tools, which “gives parents the support they need to raise caring and compassionate children and set them on a path for life success.” If you’d like to know more, I’d certainly encourage you to check out the WE Movement website, where you can take the We Movement pledge, read inspiring stories and connect with local, national and international resources.
With thanks to title sponsor TELUS for having me as their guest for the event!
It was an incredible and unforgettable day!