On behalf of Tad and I and the entire EuRA family, we can’t thank you enough for having Ken with us in Ireland.  His keynote closing address not only connected with our group, but touched people in a deep and lasting way.  We have never had such a reaction to a speaker as we had from delegates towards Ken.  In our conference evaluation survey he got a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars which is a record. I have to add that for Tad and I personally, it was one of the highlights of our 25 years doing this to have met him. We’re so pleased to have been even a small part in getting your ethos and his message to our crowd, thank you! – Dom Tidey – EuRA C.O.O.  LLB, MSW


Ken E. Nwadike, Jr., is a peace activist, motivational speaker, and video journalist 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. His ‘Free Hugs’ videos have reached hundreds of millions of views on Facebook and YouTube.

Once a homeless athlete himself, Ken is a leader who exemplifies resiliency and the power to pivot, creating a PPE company during the pandemic to protect his loved ones and those at risk who could not find them. He began the Black and Blue Podcast in 2020 ​with Sherriff Chris Swanson to make Unity cool and engage students in the civil discourse necessary for us all to move forward. With so many feeling alone due to the impact of COVID-19, Ken has the power to create truly important connections and positive human interaction .

In 2014, Nwadike launched the Free Hugs Project to spread love in response to the bombing of 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. Nwadike was featured in Google’s 2016 Year in Search video as a highlight of some of the year’s most defining moments. Nwadike has made many appearances on news programs and radio broadcasts worldwide, including CNN, USA Today, Good Morning Britain, and BBC News.  Ken has spoken at hundreds of Colleges and Universities and is a favorite at high-schools and corporations. Ken was the 2017 featured keynote speaker at NACA National convention, and was also chosen to speak at the 2018 and 2020 National convention and many regional NACA events.



Ken Nwadike, Jr. has done many things in his life.  He founded the Hollywood Half-Marathon to help the homeless after overcoming homelessness himself as a student athlete.  He created successful businesses it the midst of a world crashing pandemic.  As The Free Hugs Guy, He risked his life on the frontlines of protests across the nation, de-escalating violence in the midst of intense anger. Daily he provides loving example of family connection for his 5 children.  Despite all these seemingly large accomplishments, sometimes the most powerful thing Ken does, is done softly.  Ken is a master of difficult conversations, of bridging divides, and helping the many parts of an organization or team feel connected.  As one participant remarked after a conversation with Ken, “Now I know how to talk with my uncle this Thanksgiving!”  This is the quiet work of building relationships.  Relationships that change hearts and minds.  The relationships we all really want.  The relationships that remind us that we belong.  We belong in Unity, we belong in understanding, and we belong in Love.  In Conversations with Ken, Ken brings your group together for these important conversations.  Whether through a conference keynote, small group leadership facilitation, or breakout workshops, Ken always inspires.  He is a leader’s leader, and he leads with kindness, respect and hope.

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.Karina Mackenzie – Wanderlust




In this fun, creative and interactive program Ken brings his “Free Hugs Project” to engage students in conversations of understanding, and compassion amidst the rising tide of hatred and racism.  Ken will interact with student leaders during small group discussions, to encourage them to spread love and kindness to transform the campus climate. His visit concludes with a keynote address that explores the power of positive human interaction.

Format: ​45-60 Minute Keynote w/ Optional Q&A

The audience will leave with:

Ken’s keynote address explores 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 your campus.

AMAZING! STUPENDOUS! EYE OPENING! INSPIRATIONAL! AWESOME!” Those are words students used. It was a pleasure to work with him. – Austin L. Duckett – Widener University

High School / Middle School / Elementary


As a motivational speaker for students, Ken shares his personal story of overcoming homelessness and insecurities by getting involved in extracurricular activities in school. The support he received from coaches, teammates, and friends while playing sports and participating in student government activities, helped pave the way for Ken to start numerous businesses and a charitable organization that helps homeless teens.

Format: ​45-60 Minute Keynote w/ Optional Q&A

The audience will leave with:

This program teaches students to be more loving and supportive of one another to accomplish life-changing goals. It also motivates and encourages students to get involved in activities on campus to enhance personal growth and preparation for college.

I wanted to send a heart-felt “thank you” for everything you did to put together our convocation last week at Peru JR/SR High School in Peru, Indiana. Please tell Ken that the students (and staff) were very engaged and enjoyed his message very much…The kids instantly trusted him. I believe he broke down some barriers and inspired our students to see the bigger picture of our culture and how we treat each other. We are also very appreciative of the time and that Ken spent with students at lunch and at the community event. I believe these experiences will have a huge impact on those students as they move throughout their high school careers. Thank you again for facilitating a platform that allows Ken to share his message and truly be a force for good in our world. – Jessica Jones- Guidance Director – Peru Highschool, IN

Corporate / Small Business/ Non-Profit


Creating safe and inclusive work environments begins with how civil we are towards our fellow men and women. As a business keynote speaker, Ken shares stories of de-escalating intense confrontations on the front-lines of riots and protests. He describes ways that peacekeeping principles can be used proactively in the workplace and community to prevent heightened situations from occurring.

Format: ​45-60 Minute Keynote w/ Optional Q&A

The audience will leave with:

The keynote inspires business leaders to be more supportive and respectful towards one another. Restoring civility in America improves the way we treat our families, coworkers, and people within our communities. Ken has received numerous awards from law enforcement agencies and community groups for his peacekeeping efforts during uprisings.

I really struggle to find the words to express the impact that Ken had on everyone. I heard NOTHING but great things about him. People are still talking about him. Women were giving each other hugs in the bathroom at the conference, today someone told me they couldn’t sleep last night so they watched Ken videos on YouTube to try to “recapture that feeling she had listening to him at the conference.” Several told me that he was the best speaker we have EVER had. I’ve never seen a response to any speaker like we have had for Ken. –Amy Smith – Director of Global Mobility Strategies – NEI Global Relocation

On behalf of the Department for Children, Youth and Families, we want to thank you SO MUCH for taking your time and speaking with us.  Your message was powerful and brought a joy and light to our workers…..so much so that there have been multiple staff going out of their way today to come to my office and thank me for having you today.  You will absolutely hear from me again, as we would LOVE to have you back.  Thank you again for a wonderful day!!!!! – Andrea Colonno, Director of Staff Development & Prevention ServicesAlbany County Department for Children, Youth and Families

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.

Ron SingletonLimestone College

I am writing thank you notes today. Ken is special, I believe he is changing the world. During his speech folks were quiet and listening…introspective (as was I) to the significance of his work. How brave - not just to the dangers, but by putting himself out there like he does. The world needs peacemakers and we should all strive to be more like Ken. There is only one Prince of Peace, but if that is not Ken’s archetype, I don’t know who is. After his talk everyone at the conference, lined up to get their FREE HUG and a picture! Please let me know, how I can help Ken further his work and get the message out. I am natural skeptic, but I believe Ken to be the real deal.

Thanks for making this possible!

Mark Drennan - Chief Executive Officer - West Virginia Behavioral Healthcare Providers Assn.

Workshops & Breakouts:


Format: ​30 Minute Keynote w/ Optional Q&A

This program is perfect for:

  • ​Inspiring leadership in the workplace, on campus, and within organizations.

The audience will leave with:

  • ​Inspiration and new ideas on how to identify needs
  • Courage to take on new challenges
  • Better problem solving skills



Format: ​30 Minute Keynote w/ Optional Q&A

This program is perfect for:

  • ​Motivating corporate / sales teams and athletes to break through the boundaries and limitations that they set for themselves
  • Teams struggling with forward momentum
  • Managers of underperforming sales teams
  • As a former homeless student athlete, Ken shares his story of using running to change his finish line.



Format: ​30 Minute Keynote w/ Optional Q&A

This program is perfect for:

  • ​Motivating groups to take action that create social and environmental change.

The audience will leave with:

  • ​Equipped and inspired to take action.
  • Ready to create a social good campaign or support a cause that resonates with your groups mission.



Format: ​1 Hour Workshop / Breakout Session

This program is perfect for:

  • Brainstorming ideas to improve your community and the world around you

The audience will leave with:

  • ​Actionable plans to develop charitable works that will benefit people in need.



Format: ​1 Hour Workshop / Breakout Session

This program is perfect for:

  • Improving kindness and trust in the workplace.

The audience will leave with:

  • ​A greater sense of joy, friendliness, and support from their  co-workers.