Canadian celebrities will be on hand this Friday to launch the inaugural National Me to We Day alongside activists and politicians.
Justin Trudeau, Olympic champion swimmer Mark Tewksbury and Senator Romeo Dallaire will speak at the event, which is organized by the “Free the Children” campaign.
Canadian Idol winner Brian Melo is also set to perform.
“Degrassi: The Next Generation” star Michel Chikwanine will share his experience growing up as a war-affected child in Democratic Republic of Congo.
Other Degrassi cast members will talk about their experience traveling to Kenya earlier this summer to build a school.
Craig Kielburger, founder of “Free the Children,” told the Canadian Press that the “Me to We” initiative is about transforming lives.
“A lot of charities and a lot of organizations just say ‘Give your donation to help make a better world,’ but in reality, that old model of charity that’s existed for the past 50, 100 plus years isn’t addressing systematic change, it isn’t bringing about that systematic change,” said Kielburger,
Kielburger has expanded upon his idea in “Me to We: Finding Meaning in a Material World,” a book co-authored with his older brother Marc. It offers insight and tools for people who want to transform the lives of those around them, and features contributions from Richard Gere, Jane Goodall and Oprah Winfrey.
7,500 students are expected to serve as delegates of more than 500 schools at Friday’s event at Toronto’s Ricoh Coliseum. CTV will air the special on Monday, October 22 at 10:30am ET and 1pm ET. The event will be streamed live at MTV.ca from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET. MTV will rebroadcast the event in January.
The event is part of a year-long initiative, which includes schools using curriculum hours each week to teach students about United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
Another part of the project includes students taking part in the “Adopt a Village” campaign, which campaigns to raise funds for community development in an adopted country.