Various production entities observed the April 22nd Earth Day celebration: NBC aired conservation PSAs, Universal held a recycling event and concert at the Universal City Walk. The Disney Channel extended their efforts by launching a two day Nature Celebration that united youth leaders from around the globe.
On Friday, April 13th, Chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, Robert A. Iger, welcomed Disney talent, worldwide members of the Disney Friends for Change, parents, executives and guests at the Disney World Resort who gathered for the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund Awards Ceremony. The event recognized organizations dedicated to creating opportunities and experiences that allow children to learn about and participate in preserving nature and natural resources. Five organizations were honored during the evening's festivities: Children and Nature Network, Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots, National Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, and Youth Services of America.
The following day, roughly 100 youth leaders between the ages of 10-18 from around the world who have joined Disney's Friends for Change gathered for the Friends for Change Youth Summit. Disney's Friends for Change organization inspires children and families to help communities and the planet through an emphasis on creativity, conservation and compassion. The day long summit provided the children with the opportunity to explore ideas and efforts to control the misuse of natural resources in their own communities. Panels included: "Inspiring and Adventurous Careers," a panel comprised of Disney employees whose careers merged creativity with stewardship of the planet and "Send Your Message On," where young leaders discovered how resources such as social media and two minute video presentations assist in sharing their messages with other members of their communities. In the "Imagine Our Planet Youth Discussion," the children were encouraged to develop a conversation charter that outlined efforts they would continue to develop once they returned home. The children were then divided into groups and Disney talent such as Debby Ryan, Bella Thorne, Ross Lynch, Laura Marano and Zendaya rotated through each group, providing suggestions to aid in fortifying their action plans.
The Disney Planet Challenge Ceremony was also held on April 14th during the Friends for Change Youth Summit. This event recognized participants in a national environmental science competition that was opened to 3rd - 8th grade students.
To learn more about Disney's Friends for Change organization and how you or your children can get involved, please visit: