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Man Behind We Day Has Big Expectations For Minn. Kids

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – We Day is Tuesday. It’s a charity-based music event that started in Canada and will soon be underway at St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center.

Some 18,000 students from 400 Minnesota schools will attend the event, and they all got tickets by a helping others.

On Monday, WCCO-TV – which is the event’s media partner — got a chance to see the stage on which pop stars will perform and dignitaries will speak. We also spoke with the man that got it all started.

Spend some time with Free the Children founder Craig Kielburger, and you can feel the 30-year-old Canadian activist’s passion.

It’s what swayed General Mills Vice President Doug Moore into sponsoring We Day.

“Literally, after five minutes we had three or four people in the meeting…crying,” Moore said.

By the time Kielburger left the General Mills meeting room, three of the company’s brands – Yoplait, Cheerios, and Green Giant – were all on-board.

“It was a different kind of meeting that day,” Moore said.

Kielburger has been turning heads and inspiring kids since he was 12 years old, when he organized classmates to fight against child labor in Africa and captured the attention of 60 Minutes.

“When we were 12, we were shoved into lockers,” Kielburger. “It was so uncool – seriously — to try to make a difference on these issues. And that’s partially why we created We Day.”

Mission accomplished. Now, it’s very cool…with Free The Children helping kids in 45 countries and We Day events across Canada and the United State.

On Tuesday, We Day will be in Minnesota. The event will feature the Jonas Brothers, Carlie Rae Jepsen, Martin Luther King III and others. But the focus will still be on the kids.

When asked if the next Craig Kielburger would be in the Minnesota We Day audience, Kielburger responded with: “I think the next president is in that audience.”

“Are you kidding me?” he added. “I think those are the most fired up, passionate, committed young people you are ever going to see.”

We Day runs from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday. If you aren’t going, you can catch the live stream here at WCCO.com.

Related: Final Preparations Take Place For We Day Minnesota

Resources: For more on We Day, click here.

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