Reporting Angela Davis
ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – We Day Minnesota is just a day away.
Special guests from around the world are making their way to Minnesota for our first-ever We Day. Eighteen-thousand Minnesota students will pack Xcel Energy Center Tuesday for the star-studded event. Those students could only get their ticket to the big event by doing one local act of charity and one global act over the course of a year.
Inside the X Monday, hundreds of volunteers and We Day staff members are busy getting ready for the students, who will be coming from all over the state.
This is so much more than a concert.
It’s intended to be a life-changing event for young people who have already demonstrated they care about their community and people in need in other countries.
But with names like Demi Lovato, Carly Rae Jepsen and the Jonas Brothers being on the list of performers, you can see why there’s some excitement building.
Marc Kielburger and his brother Craig have been successful in making caring cool in Canada. Now they’re taking on the U.S.
Seattle was the first city to get involved and now it’s the Twin Cities’ turn.
“Our program is not to replace but to enhance the work you’ve already been doing, the reason I share that is that so much work has already been done,” Marc Kielburger said. “From the Tubman shelter to the YMCA to Second Harvest Heartland, to everything in between.”
Nearly 800 volunteers are working to get everything in place at the X.
They’re pulling souvenirs out of boxes, setting up displays on the concourse and prepping the gift bags that are going on every seat.
“At the end of the day, these kids can do whatever they want to do, but we need to make the world a better place,” he said. “Our government needs it. Our world needs it. These kids could be running Washington one day, hopefully soon.”
The Kielburgers believe teenagers are less likely to make destructive decisions when they are involved in community service.
“All these things come down to volunteerism. Definitely the state is on the right track … but it we can do just that much more to make sure we are taking the learnings in our schools to adapt accordingly, it could be a very different vibe 20 years from now,” Kielburger said.
Teachers will get some help on We Day, too. Volunteers are setting up a lounge where teachers can pick up educational materials to use in the classroom.
“We’ll give them all that, but we don’t want to tell them what to do. These kids are so creative, so smart, so empathetic and compassionate, they are going to come up with their own ideas,” he said. “And what they come up with is going to blow you away.”
Motivational speakers are sprinkled in with the musical performances.
Students will hear from Dr. Martin Luther King, III — the son of the famous civil rights leader — and Queen Noor of Jordan will be here.
Students who are not able to be here tomorrow can watch the whole event live online.
We will be streaming it on wcco.com.
Here’s a list of the expected attendees at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday.
• Mark Dayton (@GovMarkDayton) – Governor of Minnesota
• Brenda Cassellius (@BCassellius) – Commissioner of Education, Minnesota
• Chris Coleman (@mayorcoleman) – Mayor of St. Paul
• Jonas Brothers (@jonasbrothers) – GRAMMY®-nominated, multi-platinum artists
• Carly Rae Jepsen (@carleyraejepsen) – GRAMMY®-nominated, multi-platinum singer-songwriter
• Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) – Award-winning singer-songwriter and Free The Children ambassador
• Bridgit Mendler (@bridgitmendler) – Platinum selling artist and star of Disney’s Good Luck Charlie
• Barbara Pierce Bush – Humanitarian, Co-founder and President, Global Health Corps and daughter of Former U.S. President George W. Bush
• Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) – NFL players
• Martin Luther King III – Human Rights advocate and eldest son of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
• Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) – Award-winning actress, activist and United Nations ambassador
• The Tenors (@TenorsMusic) – Juno Award-winning Multi-platinum singers
• Katie Garfield (@KatieGarfield) – Singer-songwriter and actress
• Dessa (@dessadarling) – Doomtree Records recording artist, rapper, singer, poet, and essayist
• Jack Jablonski (@Jabs_13) – Local Benilde–St. Margaret’s teen who suffered a spinal cord injury during a hockey game
• Kenyan Boys Choir (@BoysChoirKenya) – Traditional African male choir, who sang at the 2009 inauguration of President Obama
• We Day Minnesota co-chairs and siblings Hutton Phillips and Dean Phillips who also serves as Chairman of Talenti Gelato and Co-Chair of the Edward J. Phillips Family Foundation
• Marissa Mohammed – Youth speaker from the Banyan Community Center
• Native Pride Arts – Indigenous youth performers whose mission is to educate, inspire, motivate and empower diverse communities
• Craig and Marc Kielburger (@craigkielburger) – International activists and co-founders of Free The Children
• Spencer West (@spencer2thewest) – Me to We inspirational speaker, Free The Children ambassador, author and double amputee who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro on his hands and in his wheelchair in June 2012
• Molly Burke (@mollymetowe) – Visually impaired Me to We motivational speaker who speaks out against bullying and the power of hope
• Hannah Alper – 10-year-old youth speaker
• Robin Wiszowaty (@robininkenya) – Me to We motivational speaker, author and Free The Children Program Director in Ghana and Kenya
• Chris Tse – Me to We inspirational speaker, national spoken word champion and humanitarian