Building Community through the WE Global Learning Centre

Officially opening its doors back in 2017, the WE Global Learning Centre (WE GLC) was designed to house the daily operations of WE Charity work both in Toronto and around the world. It was built with cutting edge technology, and functions as a central hub for leadership programming, social issues workshops, and a space to explore and develop entrepreneurial pursuits. This space has also allowed us to amplify our work and messaging around youth engagement and empowerment, education, equality, and sustainability. It has given us the means to teach and inspire a whole new generation towards making more conscious decisions about their life and their future.

For many of us who enter these doors day in and day out, this building has come to represent more than just a workplace. Over time, the WE GLC has become a physical and symbolic home that represents community and collaboration. This space, and our surrounding environment, have changed our perspective on the impact of the WE movement – significantly transforming the scope of our work to also support more local causes that are important to our community. In just the short time since moving in, we’ve had the privilege of hosting so many different events and celebrations, from charity fundraisers, performances, speaking engagements, youth-led initiatives like bake sales, and so much more.

In  2019,  WE welcomed approximately 50 non-profits through the use of meeting rooms, broadcasting services, event space, and other resources. The centre has hosted G7 youth meetings, an Indigenous youth graduation ceremony, digital mental health trainings, a youth viewing party for the federal leader’s debate, staff retreats for neighbouring non-profits, community consultations, and so much more.

Last month, we were given a truly unique and important opportunity to host a Canadian Citizenship ceremony at the WE GLC. We helped welcome 73 new Canadians from over 20 countries and were proudly represented by two of our own staff members – our Executive Director Dalal Al-Waheidi co-hosted the event, and Associate Director of Donor Engagement Tara Garic received her citizenship certificate.

Holding this event at the WE GLC was incredibly special. I was filled with such immense gratitude seeing the first floor of our building transform into a space of celebration. Together, friends and family, young and old, from all backgrounds, were able to join one another and witness such a memorable milestone. It’s times like these when I am reminded of just how fortunate we are to welcome the greater community into our space and support their journey – even in the smallest way.

(Photos from WE staff member, Ernesto Garcia)

On a larger scale, we’ve been so lucky to participate in Doors Open Toronto – an annual event that gives the public an opportunity to see inside more than 150 architecturally, historically, culturally and socially significant buildings across the city. We’ve also been fortunate to welcome many prominent leaders and individuals to visit our space, including Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Martin Luther King III, and even former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

To me, the WE GLC is more than just a vision come to life. It is a true testament to the many years of hard work carried out by our teams across the organization, and their continued belief in the importance of our movement and what it represents. Of course, there is so much incredible change on the horizon, and we are so eager to explore the many ways that we can continue to further share this space with the remarkable people in this community and beyond.