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Originally published March 13, 2013 at 8:45 AM | Page modified March 13, 2013 at 6:12 PM

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‘We Day’ to draw thousands of student activists to Seattle

We Day, a program to encourage young people to get involved in local and global issues, comes to Seattle on March 27.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Jennifer Hudson, Magic Johnson, Martin Sheen, Mia Farrow and MC Hammer are among the notables due at KeyArena later this month for “We Day Seattle,” an event geared to inspire youth to action on local and global issues.

The March 27 program at KeyArena is expected to draw 15,000 young people and supporters from nearly 400 middle and high schools, mostly in Washington state.

Participants, already selected, were chosen because they have taken action on a local or international cause, or committed to do so.

“We Day” programs, described as a high-energy mix of performances and short presentations, are an outgrowth of the charity Free the Children, started in 1995 by Toronto brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger.

Craig Kielburger, 12, when the organization was created, was inspired to action by a newspaper story on the death of a young Pakistani boy who had been forced into a labor camp when he was 4 years old.

Kielburger decided to pioneer ways young people can have an impact.

Twenty-three “We Day” programs have been held, all in Canada. The group will hold one other event in the U.S. this year, in Minnesota in October. Plans are to expand into other countries in future years.

Other luminaries expected at the Seattle event include Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll, along with Seahawks players Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, John Moffitt and Russell Okung, and NBA All-Star and former Sonic Gary Payton.

For more information, see www.weday.com.

Jack Broom: jbroom@seattletimes.com

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