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Campus News / News

Peace Activist and Founder of the Free Hugs Project, Ken Nwadike Jr., to provide keynote on “The Power of Human Interaction”

02/12/2020 1:40 pm

Rockford University welcomes Ken Nwadike Jr. on Monday, February 17, 7 p.m., Severson Auditorium, as part of the University’s spring Forum Series. Ken E. Nwadike, Jr., is a peace activist, motivational speaker, video journalist, and is also known as the “Free Hugs Guy” online.

Nwadike Jr. is the founder of the Free Hugs Project, which produces motivational videos to spread love, inspire change, and raise awareness of social issues. In 2014, Nwadike launched the Free Hugs Project to spread love in response to the bombing at the Boston Marathon. The Free Hugs Project gained popularity in 2016, as Nwadike made major news headlines for his peace-keeping efforts and de-escalating violence during protests, riots, and political rallies. Since then Nwadike has made many appearances on news programs and radio broadcasts worldwide, including CNN, USA Today, Good Morning Britain, and BBC News. Today his ‘Free Hugs’ videos have reached hundreds of millions of views on Facebook and YouTube, and he was even featured in a Super Bowl commercial during this year’s February 2, 2020 game.

Ken’s keynote address will explore the power of positive human interaction and ways to bridge the racial divide by spreading love. The goal of this program is to create unity, civility, and build a more diverse and inclusive culture on campus.

Severson Auditorium is located in Scarborough Hall on the University’s campus, 5050 East State Street, Rockford. This event is free and the public is welcome to attend. Tickets are required and seating is limited. To reserve tickets, contact the Box Office at The complete spring 2020 Forum Series is available on the University’s website at