Press release: WE Day UN in New York celebrates young people changing the world

Her Excellency President Ellen Sirleaf, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mary Robinson, along with Chelsea Clinton, Jordan Fisher, Whoopi Goldberg and more come together to inspire youth to challenge and encourage current world leaders to live up to their commitments.

Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2017

New York (September 20, 2017) – Today, thousands of youth from across the Tri-state area will come together at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City for WE Day, a youth empowerment event that celebrates everyday heroes and proves no one is too young to change the world. The inaugural WE Day UN is a partner of UNAIDS, UN Global Compact, and UN Women to foster youth engagement. With the support of the Government of Canada, WE Day UN takes place during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City, with the aim inspire youth to challenge and encourage current world leaders to live up to their commitments.

This academic year, WE joins forces with UNAIDS, UN Global Compact, and UN Women to incorporate Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into more than 14,500 schools across the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada through WE Schools, WE’s domestic educational programme. As the UNGA amasses world leaders to present their outlooks about pressing world issues, WE Day UN will continue these instrumental conversations to motivate the next generation of world leaders. Together WE and the UN agencies believe that young people are powerful and active agents for change, and to meet the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it is imperative that organizations engage youth, providing tools and resources that support them in their actions to create global change.

“This generation, generation WE, is the one that will disrupt the status quo and shake the foundations of patriarchy, so that no one is left behind. I call on all of you today to take action to stop violence against women, to refuse to be a bystander, to lead by example in your families and communities by treating women and men equally, and by sharing family and household responsibilities equally,” said UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. “I call on all of you to find your voice, and use it to challenge stereotypes, inequalities and injustices, so that together we make Planet 50-50 possible.”

More than a one-day event, WE Day is connected to the free, yearlong educational program WE Schools. Providing schools and community groups with curriculum, educational resources and action campaigns, the program is designed to enhance a school’s existing social initiatives or spark new ones. WE Schools encourages students to further their curricular learning and develop life skills for success beyond the classroom. In a recent survey of American educators with student participants in WE Schools, it was found that 90.6 per cent felt their students had developed stronger communication skills, 90.8 per cent said students established a greater connection to their local and global community, and 88.9 percent believed students had greater enthusiasm for learning as a direct result of WE Schools’ programming.

For more about WE Day UN, visit