Celebrity philanthropists and 16,000 students and educators from across the state gathered Thursday at the Forum in Inglewood for WE Day.
WE Day boasted an impressive list of celebrity speakers throughout the day-long event including Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller Rogen, Paula Abdul, Tyrese Gibson, Ian Somerhalder and Jacob Tremblay. There were also performances by Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato and Big Sean.
WE Day is a celebration of youth making a difference in both local and global communities. Students don’t pay for a ticket to WE Day but rather earn admission through the WE Schools Program, a yearlong program that gives students the tools to create social change.
“Every one of these kids did service, either locally or internationally, and the energy in the room in uncontainable,” said Henry Winkler, who was making his eight appearance as a WE Day speaker. “This is one of the greatest things I’ve ever done.”
Martin Sheen, who was speaking for the 15th time at a WE Day event, said these kids were stepping up to create stronger communities.
“This is what it means to be a human being and this is what it means to create a community,” Sheen said. “They’ve encouraged their friends and families, schools and teachers to step out and be heroic.”
Charlize Theron, the Honorary Co-Chair of WE Day California, spoke about her work with the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project as well as how parents can help their kids get more involved.
“Support is the biggest thing,” she said. “I think as parents that is our responsibility to give them the tools they need to put them on the path they choose to take.”