WE Day


The Manitoba Home Builders' Association is celebrating 75 years.

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W I N N I P E G F R E E P R E S S S P E C I A L F E AT U R E | S AT U R D AY, O C T O B E R 2 5 , 2 0 1 4 2 WECANCHANGE THEWORLDTODAY WeDaykicksoffayearofeducation, empowermentandCHANGE. InpartnershipwithFreeTheChildren,RBC ® isproviding thetoolsandresourcestohelpCanadianyouthcreate thechangetheywanttoseeintheworld. ®/™Trademark(s)ofRoyalBankofCanada. VPS89468 Learnmoreat rbc.com/freethechildren ™ A FAMILY TRIP THAT CHANGES THE WORLD. Connect as a family on a Me to We adventure you will never forget. Volunteer in East Africa, Ecuador or India—and foster a spirit of global citizenship in your family. Truly immerse into a new culture and connect with local communities, while leaving behind a lasting legacy. START YOUR JOURNEY AT METOWE.COM/TRIPS. TICO #: 50017614 By Craig and Marc Kielburger I t's We Day, Manitoba — 16,000 young people packed into the MTS Centre to celebrate making a difference in their communities and their world. The positive energy in the arena will be invigorating and the cheers will be deafening. But if you think the youth are excited about this growing movement for local and global change, you should see the adults. Nobel Prize laureates, global icons and some of the coolest musicians, actors and athletes of our time have left the We Day stage inspired by their audience. Last year, Oscar-nominated actor and activist Edward Norton told the crowd, "You are the most powerful generation of teenagers in human history." Former Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan passed the proverbial torch: "It's your world now. I trust you and believe that you can make the world a better place." And in years past, legendary actor and activist Mia Farrow once beamed, "You are the generation I've been waiting for all my life!" We couldn't agree more. Almost two decades ago, Craig and a dozen of his fellow 12-year-olds started Free The Children in our parents' living room. The adults we met back then were surprised that a gaggle of tweens born on the border of Generations X and Y were aware of global issues, that we cared, and that we wanted to get involved. We may have been rare among our generation, but we're not any more. That same year — 1995 — it's said that the first of a new generation were born. Some have tried the uncreative label "Gen Z." But we believe today's four to 18-year-olds could more descriptively be called the "Me to We Generation" — a movement of informed and compassionate global citizens. These young natives of the digital era are connected to their world, concerned about its challenges, and eager to create change. They're more likely than any previous cohort to make ethical consumer choices, volunteer in their communities and choose careers with positive social impacts. So forget the short-lived era of "slacktivists" — the Me to We Generation are active participants in building a better world. Canadian teen Ann Makosinski designed a flashlight powered by the heat of your hand. Others have created generators for urban slums made from recycled electronics, revolutionary cancer technologies and a muffler device that uses algae to remove pollutants from car exhaust. They're launching influential online magazines and community newspapers, innovative social enterprises that tackle hunger and poverty, and potent campaigns to counter violence in their neighbourhoods. The epicentre of this seismic change is We Day. This year, 14 cities across Canada, the U.S. and UK will collectively host 200,000 students — each of whom has earned their ticket through local and global service. They'll hear from inspiring speakers like Mary Robinson, Kweku Mandela and Severn Suzuki, and celebrate with favourite performers like Keith & Renee, Hedley and Kardinal Offishall. And thanks to We Day Manitoba co-chairs Hartley Richardson, Bob Silver and Mark Chipman, and national title sponsors RBC and TELUS, We Day is free to attend across Canada. From there, the Me to We Generation spreads out to their neighbourhoods to create change. Through We Act — the service learning program that provides free educational resources and monthly action campaigns in conjunction with We Day — 2.3 million students from over 7,500 schools worldwide have raised $45 million for more than 1,000 local and global causes. They've volunteered 14.6 million hours, collected 5.6 million pounds of food and logged 8.9 million hours of silence to draw attention to the plight of their peers in developing countries. Generation X may have been cynical that change could happen. Generation Y may have been content to let someone else do it. But this next generation — the Me to We Generation — isn't simply being the change they wish to see in the world. They're creating it. Prepare the torch, Manitoba. It's We Day. We Day and We Act since 2007 $45M raised for local and global causes 79% of We Act alumni voted in the previous national election 5.6M pounds of food collected for local food banks 91% of students felt strongly about turning their inspiration into action after We Day 95% increased leadership of educators said students have demonstrated 14.6M volunteer hours logged 8.9M hours of silence logged for those denied their rights INTRODUCING ThE GENERATION WE'vE BEEN WAITING FOR Marc and Craig Kielburger, co-founders of Free The Children

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