Student volunteers rally with celebrities for WE day in St. Paul

About 18,000 students from across the state will get out of class Wednesday for an event promoting student activism. We Day Minnesota will pack the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul with students eager to hear from speakers and musicians like Magic Johnson, Lennon and Maisy and Martin Sheen.

Students from more than 550 Minnesota schools will be attending. Tickets aren’t for sale. In order to attend students pledged to take action on one local and one international issue a year. State schools involved in the program helped raise 161,200 pounds of food for local food banks last year, according to the organization.

Gov. Mark Dayton, who will be speaking at the event, has declared today We Day Minnesota. Others performers and speakers at the event include The Band Perry, astronaut Lt. Colonel Eileen Collins and Kweku Mandela, the grandson of Nelson Mandela.

This will be the second time that We Day has taken place in Minnesota. Similar events are held in other cities across the world each year. Free The Children, the organization that runs We Day, says it’s raised $45 million for more than 1,000 different causes since being founded in 2007.

The event is supported locally by the Allstate Foundation, Outnumber Hunger, the Otto Bremer Foundation and others. The event will be streamed online at starting at 9 a.m.