Friday, October 14, 2011

We Day

What an amazing day yesterday... I was in Vancouver with students from 5 PG schools for the "We Day" event at Rogers Arena with 18,000 others. We heard speeches from Mia Farrow, the Kielburger brothers, Holly Branson (her dad Richard also made a surprise visit) and many more. Entertainment from Shaquille O'Neal, Down with Webster, Hedley, and others. The speakers and hosts repeated many similar themes and catch-phrases (and lots of ads), but the message was focused on human rights and social change. It was as much a celebration for work already being done by student leaders around the province as it was about inspiring kids to action. The highlight or me was the keynote from Mikhail Gorbachev! He spoke about the need for this generation to pick up the peacemaking torch. Kind of amazing to hear someone start a sentence with "When we were ending the Cold War..." I tried to give the students a crash course on the Soviet Union and the Cold War... most had taken Social Studies 11 and had the context if not the person figure out. We had a great group... curious, compassionate kids; very respectful but also energetic about making a difference in their world. Great conversations and storytelling with the other chaperones, too, about activism, honesty in education, and history.

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