Check out four powerful moments from the WE Day UK stage!
By Zoe Demarco
On March 6, young change-makers from across the UK ventured to the SSE Arena, Wembley, for WE Day UK to celebrate the local and global impacts they’ve helped to create over the past year.
Finding positivity, strength and purpose were the overarching themes of WE Day UK. From passionate speeches by model Iskra Lawrence and YouTuber Connor Franta, to powerful prose from Big Five Supermodel Naomi Campbell, these cultural icons urged youth to take action on issues they care about.
The highlight of the event was when, after speaking about his role as President of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, The Duke of Sussex (Prince Harry) brought The Duchess of Sussex (Meghan Markle) to join him on stage.
Grammy-nominated singer Nicole Scherzinger introduced one of the day’s most memorable speakers, YouTuber and Pride of Britain award-winner Nikki Christou, who shared her powerful message of self-love and acceptance with the audience.
Punctuating the wise words were energetic performances by the likes of pop sensations Jack and Jack, who stole the show early on with their hits “Rise” and “No one compares to you”; Tom Walker, who sang tunes off his debut album, including “Leave a light on” and “Just you and I”; and Liam Payne, who had everyone out of their seats as he closed out the show with “Get low” and “Polaroid”.
Craig Kielburger and Marc Kielburger took to the stage to thank the empowered audience for their dedication to creating a better world.
WE Day is the manifestation of WE—a movement that believes when we come together, we can make the world a better place. It’s a life-changing experience featuring A-list celebrities, global leaders and real people, all sharing inspiring stories of change and united in their passion for changing the world.
WE was founded in 1995 by Craig Kielburger after he read a newspaper article about Iqbal Masih, a former slave who was murdered after speaking out against the horrors of child labour. The tale struck a nerve, and Craig knew he had to do something to help free other children embroiled in child labour. Along with his older brother, Marc Kielburger, he started WE Charity.
Over two decades later, WE Charity has expanded beyond the issue of child labour to include a sustainable model of international development, called WE Villages, that works to alleviate the root causes of poverty in nine countries around the world. Through a service-learning program called WE Schools, youth in North America and the UK are empowered to be agents of change. The only way to get to a WE Day event is by taking action on one local and one global issue through WE Schools—you can’t buy a ticket.
Below, check out four powerful moments from WE Day UK 2019, and get inspired to take action!
“Your optimism is inspiring—you see opportunities where other people see challenges, you seek solutions when others just focus on problems. You are the most engaged generation in history. You care about values, doing the right thing and championing the causes that will shape your future.”
– His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex (Prince Harry)
“We all have our moment—our golden opportunity. The key is being prepared for what that moment brings, and that when it does come you grab it with both hands. So regardless of whether your dream is to be successful in the sciences, business, sports, arts, politics, music, fashion—just be the best that you can be every single day. You are the world’s future. You are tomorrow’s leaders and you are going to make a massive difference. Your time will come … just be ready when it does!”
– Naomi Campbell
“I want all of you to find that golden thread that’s woven into your life—maybe it’s already there or maybe it’s soon to be discovered. Everyone has one; a passionate outlet that they use to escape the world for moments on end. Today, you may be surrounded by the blissful, sunny days of life, or feeling lost and alone in what feels like an endless night. Wherever you find yourself, and whatever you’re submerged in, just know there’s always a way to get through it. Keep going and never give up.”
– Connor Franta
“I know that with social media being such a huge part of a lot of our lives, it can be difficult to learn how to love and accept yourself. Especially when all we’re seeing are the highlight reels, never the bad days. But it’s so, so important to understand that social media shouldn’t control how you all feel about yourselves. It is not the measure of your happiness or your success.
You have to put yourself first, and your health first. Create a genuine life outside of your online life.
What I hope for in the future is that all of you are able to scroll through your Instagram or look at an advertisement and see real, positive representations of each and every one of us. Because I truly believe if I had that when I was younger, it would have made all the difference.”
– Iskra Lawrence