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Southern California welcomed students from 550 different schools to The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. on Thursday for WE Day, featuring inspirational speeches and performances.
Celebrities highlighting the event included Charlize Theron, Paula Abdul, Ian Somerhalder, Nikki Reed, Amandla Stenberg and Jacob Tremblay. The lineup also included returning speakers and performers like Seth Rogen, Martin Sheen, Demi Lovato, Henry Winkler and Selena Gomez.
The event is intended to empower students to change the world, moving their ideas from “me to we” by shifting focus from the individual to the community.
“There is this image that some people think to be a philanthropist, to be a changemaker, I’ve got to be rich or I’ve got to be famous. No,” WE Day co-founder Craig Kielburger said during a press conference. “When you look at this program, you look at the kids who are here, this is the great equalizer. Everyone can serve. Everyone can make an impact.”
Actress Amandla Stenberg hoped students could walk away the day knowing that activism is important.
“It can feel scary to try to change the world, but even if you start with a conversation, start with doing something in your community, something small,” she said. “That’s still a huge change in itself.”
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