‘We Day’ 2012 Inspires Compassion and Hope

Today I had the privilege of attending We Day, Free The Children’s annual event aimed at inspiring young people across Canada. This was my second year at We Day, and it was even more inspiring and thought-provoking than the last. I was live-tweeting throughout the day, and you can read my thoughts at @DegrassiOnline.

For those of you who don’t know, We Day is a one day celebration of change and social activism. There are various ‘We Day’s’ across Canada (Vancouver, Montreal, etc.), but today’s massive event took place at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Approximately 20,000 young people were there for what organizers describe as “the call that brings a generation together.” Motivational speakers and celebrities appeared alongside some of today’s top musical artists. The goal was to inspire the audience to give back and change the world through a yearlong educational program.

This year performers included Jennifer Hudson who sang an incredible rendition of ‘Hallelujah,’ Nelly Furtado who performed alongside surprise guest K’naan, and future Degrassi guest stars Hedley. But the highlight of the day definitely had to be the speakers. Me to We speaker Molly Burke left the audience speechless as she described a particularly harsh experience with bullying. Canadian MP and future Liberal leadership candidate Justin Trudeau spoke about the difficulties that Aboriginal communities face in Canada. Lieutenant-General The Honourable Roméo Dallaire told the audience the importance this generation plays in stopping the use of child soldiers. And actor/activist Martin Sheen inspired the audience with his words about social activism at any age.

While the cast of Degrassi did not speak on stage at We Day this year, they were in the audience and meeting fans throughout the day! As well, a special video highlighting Degrassi’s recent trip to Ghana was played during the event. The video showed Degrassi cast members meeting the locals in the community and volunteering their time. Sam Earle described Ghana as “rich and beautiful,” and Charlotte Arnold expressed that she feels “re-energized to change my life in a positive way when I get home.” My guess is that these clips were from another Degrassi/Free The Children documentary that we will hopefully get to see sometime soon!

Update: Watch the Degrassi video right here!!

As one would expect from We Day, I left feeling rejuvenated, motivated, and empowered. Degrassi’s involvement with Free the Children has inspired all of us, and I feel like there is so much more that we could do. Throughout the years, Degrassi has taught us valuable life lessons, but their work giving back to the community with Free The Children is perhaps one of the most important lessons of all. There are thousands of Degrassians communicating via Twitter, Tumblr, etc. If we all came together, who knows what our wonderful amazing little fandom could accomplish?

For information on Me to We & Free The Children, visit their websites (FreeTheChildren.com and MeToWe.com). There you can find information on their upcoming campaigns such as We Create Change, We Scare Hunger, We Are Silent and many more. Think about what you are most passionate about, and see how other young people are making real impacts that are tangible and measureable. As Craig & Marc Kielburger would say – you can change the world!

Degrassi Cast Attends We Day in Montreal

Jessica Tyler, Sam Earle, and Melinda Shankar were in Montreal today for Free The Children’s event We Day.

For those of you who don’t know, We Day is an event designed to inspire and celebrate youth to give back and work for global change.

The cast of Degrassi was there to share their experiences volunteering during their recent trip to Haiti. The Degrassi cast has been involved with We Day from the beginning. They also appeared at the Toronto event last fall (which I was lucky enough to attend), as well as many other We Day’s from years past.

For more information on We Day and how you can get involved with Free The Children, visit WeDay.com! Also, don’t forget to ‘like’ We Day on Facebook. Every ‘like’ donates $1 to Free The Children!

Documentary: Degrassi In Haiti

Ever since an earthquake devastated Haiti 2 years ago, the country has been struggling to get back on its feet. Despite major donations from various parts of the world, there is still a lack of housing, and poverty is rampant.

Last summer, several Degrassi cast members made their annual Free the Children trip to Haiti. They were given the task to build a new playground for children in a local community. As always, a half hour documentary was filmed about the cast’s experiences.

Degrassi In Haiti premiered on Much Music last month, and is available to watch online at MuchMusic.com.

For those of you who live outside of Canada, a lovely person has posted the documentary on YouTube. Check it out – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

We Day 2011

Degrassi cast members Aislinn Paul and Munro Chambers will be participating in We Day 2011 in Toronto on September 27th this year. We Day is an event that is in support of the Free The Children organization. Degrassi has been a huge FTC supporter for years now with the cast traveling to Ecuador, Kenya, India, and Haiti to build schools and promote being part of the change worldwide. Every year cast members also participate in We Day which is a huge event inspiring people everywhere to get involved.  You can wait for the broadcast of the event in October or watch it live on September 27th 2011 at www.muchmusic.com/weday For more information about the event and other celebrities attending read it here or on Much Music

Airings on Television and Live Stream:

Both Toronto and Vancouver We Days are being taped for a special to air on MuchMusic, Sunday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. Both events will also be streamed live online at www.muchmusic.com/weday allowing people from all over the world to tune in and take part in the day. An encore broadcast will air on Much Sunday, Oct. 30 at 10 p.m. ET.

You can also help support Free The Children by ordering DVDs of the “Degrassi Goes To…” series available through partner Me To We

Help the Degrassi Cast Raise Money for Free The Children!

In case you haven’t heard already, the cast of Degrassi are once again going on a school-building trip with Free The Children this summer. After visiting Kenya, Ecuador, and India in previous summers, this year their destination is Haiti! Given the earthquake last year and the ongoing rebuilding process, Haiti definitely seems like the appropriate choice. And this year, they are giving us the opportunity to get involved too! In previous years, the cast has fundraised their own money to pay for these trips. This year they are asking for you’re help! Check out this video, and then visit http://freethechildren.com/degrassi. There you can make a donation (as big or as small as you’d like!). You can also sign up to join the team, and even create your own team member page. Every little bit helps!

For more opportunities on how you can get involved with Free The Children visit FreeTheChildren.com. There you can find information on how to start your own Free The Children club in your school, trips you can participate in yourself, and other Free The Children initiatives.

Q & A with the Degrassi Cast at Celebrate Bloor!

Some of the Degrassi Cast members will be doing a Q & A Session at 1PM from the Celebrity Interview Stage tomorrow (Sunday June 19th) at Celebrate Bloor!

Sam Earle (KC), Melinda Shankar (Alli), Jessica Tyler (Jenna) and Luke Bilyk (Drew) will be there to answer any of your questions! It says on the website that the Q&A will be 15 minutes. Many musical acts are also set to perform, such as Shawn Desman and Keisha Chante. Proceeds from the event are going to Artists for Peace and Justice!

A little bit more info from the site:

Bloor-Yorkville celebrates the completion of the Bloor Street Transformation Project in “Red Carpet Style” with a grand opening celebration!

Come experience ‘The New Bloor’ in full bloom!

From Church Street to Avenue Road, Bloor Street will be closed to vehicles, in order to roll out one kilometer of red carpet, as a welcome to you and all of our special guests. The day’s festivities will feature the Yorkville Exotic Car Show, Tasting Pavilions, a Concert Stage, celebrity appearances at the Celebrity Interview Stage, In-store Retail Promotions and an Official Opening Ceremony!

Are you planning on going to Celebrate Bloor? Let us know in the comments!

Kids Help Phone Press Junket With Munro and Melinda

Munro and Melinda were making the media rounds today, promoting the 2011 Walk for Kids Help Phone. They primarily focus on explaining what Kids Help Phone is, how you can get involved, and why this is a great partnership with Degrassi. We have been following Munro and Melinda’s media appearances all day, and we are expecting more interviews to surface soon. Here is what we have so far:

-The Marilyn Denis Show (above video)
-Canada AM
-CTV News

We will are also expecting Munro and Melinda to appear on Etalk, CTV.ca, and more. We will update this post as these interviews become available! For more information, visit Walkforkidshelpphone.ca!

New Video from Jessica Tyler

Jessica Tyler posted a new video this afternoon. This is from a Me To We speaking event Jessica was at with Luke and Jordan not long ago. They were at an elementary school to talk about their trip to India, and they screened the Degrassi In India documentary. This videos shows the 3 of them just being goofy and meeting with the kids at the school.

Degrassi Meet & Greet Tomorrow!

And the meet & greets continue for Torontonian Degrassi fans!!!

TOMORROW (Feb. 1st), cast members from Degrassi will be at the Me To We Store in Toronto (223 Carlton Street)!! You might remember that they were there on Jan. 21st promoting their new Degrassi In India DVD. This time the focus is on Degrassi In Ecuador, a similar documentary special from a couple of years ago.

There will be a screening at 6:30pm as well as an opportunity to meet the cast and get autographs! To RSVP to the event, make sure you visit http://m2wdocs.eventbrite.com/. ALSO, there is a Degrassi In Kenya screening scheduled for March 1st at the same location. Tickets for that event are not yet available.

As some of you may know, you can already purchase DVDs of Degrassi’s other FTC trips by visiting the Me To We Online Store. And for those of you who were inspired by the cast’s adventure, visit metowe.com for more information on how you can participate in one of these life changing trips!!

Degrassi Meet & Greet This Friday

Get excited Torontonian Degrassi Fans!! We’ve got Meet & Greet news for you!!

This Friday, Jan. 21st, the cast of Degrassi will be at the Me To We Store in Toronto (223 Carlton Street)! They are there to launch their new Degrassi In India DVD. Here is what Epitome emailed us about the DVD:

Watch as the cast travels to India, visits rural communities and helps lay the bricks for a new school. Coming face-to-face with poverty, child labour and families deprived of life’s basic necessities, these young stars discover the true power of compassion. Journey with the Degrassi cast as they experience the breathtaking sights, sounds and sensations of India, and come away with a new definition of hope.

There will be screenings at 6pm and 7pm, and an opportunity to meet the cast and get autographs! To RSVP to the event, make sure you visit www.degrassiindia.eventbright.com.

As some of you may know, you can already purchase DVDs of Degrassi’s other FTC trips by visiting the Me To We Online Store. And for those of you who were inspired by the cast’s adventure, visit metowe.com for more information on how you can participate in one of these life changing trips!!