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NEWS RELEASE · 18th October 2012
Office of the Premier
Premier Christy Clark was joined by spiritual leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu, basketball great Magic Johnson and a roster of influential speakers on stage at Rogers Arena today as We Day Vancouver kicked off in front of 20,000 enthusiastic youths and educators from throughout the province.

"Each one of us - no matter who we are, no matter where we're from, no matter our experience - has the chance to stand up, to move from me to we," said Premier Clark. "That's why I am so proud to participate in We Day.

It's a unique opportunity to teach today's youth to be tomorrow's leaders by inspiring them to stand up for vulnerable people in their communities and around the world." Premier Clark also announced the Ministry of Education has provided a $100,000 grant in support of We Day Vancouver, the third consecutive year the ministry has made a donation of this size to the event.

"The support we've received from the Ministry of Education over the past three years has been greatly appreciated," said James Lombardi, director of We Day and Free the Children. "It's clear the ministry
and all our educational partners throughout B.C. believe in the work
we do, and these grants allow us to keep inspiring youth around the world through amazing events like We Day."

An initiative of the charitable organization Free the Children, We Day Vancouver looks to motivate youth to make a difference in their communities by raising awareness on social issues such as hunger, poverty, mental health and girls' education.

Participants are then encouraged to take what they have learned during the day, engage their fellow students and commit to world-changing ideas and actions.

Education Minister Don McRae also was at Rogers Arena to attend the Educational Partners Breakfast. Hosted by Free the Children co- founder Marc Kielburger, the breakfast honoured approximately 175 school board and educational partners from throughout B.C. who have made social responsibility a priority in their schools and districts.

"It's an honour to provide sponsorship for We Day for the third consecutive year," said McRae. "The Ministry of Education and Free the Children have parallel goals when it comes to promoting social responsibility in our students, and their emphasis on developing core skills such as leadership and cultural awareness is something we value and support."

"The Ministry of Education truly believes in the power of young people, and we are so humbled and appreciative of the generous support the ministry continues to provide Free the Children year after year, helping us bring youth empowerment events, such as We Day Vancouver, and social justice programming to schools across British Columbia," said Kielburger.

In its sixth year, We Day has now expanded coast-to-coast and internationally with stops in Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Winnipeg, Kitchener, Montreal, Ottawa, Saskatchewan, Halifax and Seattle.