Ken’s talks at our events were something to behold: he touched and moved people in a way I’ve rarely witnessed on that large scale. His affable, approachable and humorous demeanor made every person in the room feel that he was their friend, and partner. He inspired masses of people to take a deep look at how they can contribute to a society that emphasizes compassion over alienation, unity over division, and peace over conflict. He is a speaker who changes the game around notions of conflict resolution and peaceful protest, and I will always look to include him in my programming for future events: I owe that to future generations.
Wow! We were excited to have Ken as a keynote speaker at the HR Indiana SHRM conference in August 2018, but had no idea the impact he would have on our participants. 1800 of us laughed, cried, and cheered while he spoke; when he left we were inspired, more prayerful, more positive, and more kind to others. We were only disappointed that not all 1800 got a personal hug from Ken, but I bet about 450 of us did!! Bravo, Ken!
I contacted Ken Nwadike, Jr. after seeing him on CNN. He was so inspiring and genuine in his message during that interview that I had to work out a way to bring him to our conference to speak to our customers. We had hoped Ken would leave them with some positive feelings and inspiration and he actually exceeded those expectations and had such a wonderful impact on all that were in attendance. There were laughs, tears, and lots of hugs! I would highly recommend Ken as a speaker at ANY event. His message is wide reaching and a perfect antidote to today’s climate. His smile is contagious as is his genuine pursuit to spread empathy, happiness, and love.
Ken Nwadike is a dynamic speaker! His authenticity and powerful message is incredibly motivating. The impact Ken has on both children and adults is life changing and important for our country.
Our students left Ken’s presentation feeling uplifted and motivated for social change. Ken’s authenticity and passion captured the audience’s attention in a natural, effortless way. Many students stayed late to share a free hug, a selfie, and personal stories with him.
Ken is an amazing individual. He visited our school, and through the sharing of his story, and his message of spreading love and understanding, he connected with every single student and adult in our building. We are in the business of developing leaders and Ken’s message inspired everyone to be the best that we can be for each other. He’s more than just a speaker – he’s a difference maker. Our kids still wear his Free Hugs shirts every Friday! I can’t tell you what you mean to our campus! I tell everyone- that to this generation – you are truly their Martin Luther King Jr.
Thank you so much for recommending and sending Ken Nwadike and his Free Hugs Project to our campus. In 12 years of arranging campus speakers I’ve never had one who connected so well with students that they were immediately pleading with me to schedule him for next year. Great speaker. Great program. Terrific response.
In these tumultuous and highly divisive times in our nation, Ken takes a refreshingly unifying approach towards healing. He avoids the all too popular pitfalls of partisan politics. Our students, as well as I, left the Free Hugs Project presentation with a feeling of enlightenment and solidarity.
AMAZING! STUPENDOUS! EYE OPENING! INSPIRATIONAL! AWESOME!” Those are words students used. It was a pleasure to work with him.
We loved having Ken Nwadike on our campus. His presentation is amazingly impactful but the really touching part was how he connected with students as he walked around promoting his event. Even though he was only here for the day, Ken will always remain a member of our #TRUEBLUE family.
Ken presented at The Sweetwater Union High School District Associated Student Body (A.S.B.) Camp. This is a gathering of all school leaders across the district, approximately 450 students total grades 9-12. Ken was the first speaker that had and held ALL students attention, emotion and motivations. Ken spoke for over an hour and students continued to ask questions beyond his time because they were so interested and inspired in his work and story. Ken connects with students and exchanged emails with some that stayed after to speak with him. Students left excited and inspired to make a difference in the world!!! We would love to have him back again and plan on bringing him in to speak to our students.
His message of love moved most of the room to tears. Such powerful delivery.
Ken brought a much-needed sense of compassion and understanding to the rural region of northwest North Carolina. During his time here, he was able to effortlessly adapt to the varied age ranges within the schools we serve. His impact on the community will be long-lived through the people who were able to experience his presentation.
Kids said…Ken just changed my life…Ken is just like me…If Ken can do it, I can do it! It is rare to get 10 or 50 or 100 people to agree on anything yet 1800+ people agreed that hearing and meeting Ken Nwadike is the most incredible experience they have ever had in school or anywhere. For many of our kids, this was life changing.
Ken came to the ASU campus in April to speak as part of ASU’s annual week of charity. He spoke in classrooms during the day and then had a formal speaking engagement that night. During each speaking session, Ken displayed a passion and love for what he spoke of, and his personal anecdotes consistently left our audience moved. I would have Ken back in a heartbeat. His love for others is unequivilant and it was truly an honor getting to meet him!
Ken is a phenomenal speaker. His sincere way of looking at the world is contagious and moving. Our students have been motivated by Ken’s mission and we value the relationship we have built with him.
Ken Nwadike Jr. is an extraordinary speaker that we were privileged to have at NMSU speaking to our students. His message brought a sense of community and hope to the students at NMSU during a time where the values he spreads are needed in abundance. We would highly recommend him for any event as a speaker and continue to instill the beliefs he discusses in the students here at our University.
Ken came to us highly recommended and we were very excited to bring him to our campus. We are a small community college, but there was a lot of buzz before he came and many students who don’t normally come out for events came out for specifically to see him. He spoke in our cafeteria and within minutes was able to command the space and have everyone in the audience engaged and actively listening. He effortlessly connected with students and many of our students were inspired by his work. Afterwards I had many students come up to me saying that his talk was the best event we had all year. I would definitely bring him back as he is a talented speaker with a message that resonates with students and a pleasure to work with.
Ken is a masterful presenter. Over the course of his presentation, he engaged with the audience and offered anecdotes and personal beliefs, while never forgetting the larger social and political landscape his work hopes to address. I highly recommend him not only as a guest presenter, but also as a model of civility and respect.
Ken Nwadike brings passion and compassion to his speech, which carries over to every individual in attendance, as seen by the line of people lining up to hug Ken. Ken has an incredible ability to touch the heart of ALL people, causing them to confront their prejudices and unfair judgements of people different from themselves. Ken has a gift of breaking down barriers and bringing people together in the name of love and kindness. Our students absolutely loved Ken, and we have never had such a positive response from 2,000 teenagers.
Ken has students engaged with his presentation from the minute it starts to the minute it ends. His unique story of being an athlete turned activist resonates with each person in the audience. Ken leaves students inspired, encouraged, and aware of the impact just one hug, or act of kindness, can make in today’s climate.
More than ever, America (and the world) needs voices like Ken’s, providing messages of civility, humanity, and love in stark contrast to those emblazoned with hate and divisiveness. By reminding each of us to search for another person’s light, rather than focusing on the darkness, Ken bridges differences, both large and small, amongst groups with different ideologies, beliefs, and values. Our students are better people having heard Ken speak when he visited IUP, and he’s welcome back anytime.
We brought Ken Nwadike, Jr. twice to Endicott College because we loved his message of compassion and kindness. The athletes who were required to attend shared positive feedback, stating “it was the best speaker they had ever been to,” “he shared real stories that we could relate to, and “we wish he could come back every year.” His story and message is eye-opening, engaging and leaves you with hope that there are people out there spreading love during a scary time in our country.
Ken was passionate about his cause and happy to share his positivity with our event attendees. His out-of-the-box yet simplistic approach to overcoming a complicated issue has proven effective in breaking down barriers and opening lines of communication. We were proud to be a part of his movement, and he was quite successful in doing exactly what we brought him in to do – offer free hugs, generate smiles and spread the love!
Ken Nwadike was exciting and engaging! Through his story, he was able to connect with every member of the audience on both a personal and professional level. Ken provided energy that was infectious and got everyone motivated to combat hatred, racism, and violence in a non-violent way. I now understand the power of a hug.
Ken’s message is a must hear and see presentation for everyone, especially for the college students that I work with. He is relatable, authentic, compassionate and spreads such a beautiful and powerful message about positive human interactions in a world where people are divided across differences.
When we first met Ken, we knew we had to invite him to speak on campus. His energy and passion for what he does is contagious and he leaves students feeling encouraged that they can make an impact in the world
We had Ken for our Opening Weekend in 2017 after our programming board raved about his set during a NACA performance and were very pleased with it. He was able to connect with the incoming students and share a message of welcoming, inclusivity and acceptance via his own story. He was also super easy to work with and a pleasure to have on campus!
Ken was a pleasure to have on campus. He showcased his life work for the audience and proved that talking and listening can bring people together. He graciously stayed around to answer questions for as long as his presentation was, being raw and real with audience discussions. Students left the night taking on a new perspective about RACE and how to talk about it. One can get their point across better by being civil vs. aggressive.
Ken and the Free Hugs Project created an opportunity for students at Virginia Tech to have a productive conversation about activism and civic engagement. His presentation was full of passion, energy, and meaningful content that actually got people to talk to instead of at one another.
Ken Nwadike, Jr. (The Free Hugs Guy) is an absolute inspiration! Every campus in America should host Ken to inspire, engage and influence their students and faculty. His presentation is honest and heart-felt and leaves you wanting to go out and make a difference in the world.
At a time when we felt the nervousness and the worry of our CIS of North Carolina family arriving for our annual impact conference with the unrest in Charlottesville, VA, we could have never imagined exactly what and who we needed would still be able to come and deliver a powerful and timely message. Not only did Ken Nwadike Jr. show up, but it was as if his travels had him in the right place at the right time. Ken’s mission, story, and connectedness to a lot of the issues our students face proved to be the encouragement we needed to start another school year providing wraparound supports to the students who need it the most.
We so enjoyed your visit to Webster University. Here are the goals we set for the project and I think they were achieved! · Experience authentic, unscripted, impromptu interactions with Ken Nwadike and his team throughout the day, using props, small group discussions and free hugs to transform the campus atmosphere with his loving presence · Describe the role that college students are playing in building a more positive future · Explore the power of positive human interaction and ways to bridge the racial divide by spreading love Ken brings a message of peace, engagement and connectedness in a time of increasing hostility and social division in the US. His message of love and peace are inspiring and practical. He bridges the gap between just talking about the ideals of peace and love and taking positive action to spread peace and love throughout the world.
Ken brings an energy and a positivity that is unmatched. He sees things logically and attempts to understand all sides in an effort to bring unity. He has been accepted and respected by all sides as he works tirelessly to mend America.
Ken comes highly recommended on the college speaking market. We were looking for an amazing Orientation Keynote speaker who could talk to our students on the topic of diversity and acceptance. Ken more than delivered. From the start of his talk to the end, he had our students hooked on his every word. The great thing about Ken is that when he talks about diversity and acceptance, it isn’t hollow words, Ken is out there every day, practicing acceptance and sharing his message. Our students were so moved by Ken’s message.
Students learned that we must be active participants in how we show love and kindness to others. They learned that we must try to have open dialogue to settle differences and earn a deeper understanding of each other instead of resorting to violence and hatred.
An excellent and engaging presentation! Ken’s presentation on the Free Hugs Project is inspiring. Students were captured by his message. Thank you Ken for helping spread love at our university.
Ken’s message is one that is so relatable yet so unique. He really connects with his audience and is able to bring great discussion around the world we live in and among college age students in a critical stage in their life