Ken Nwadike, Jr. (the Free Hugs Project) and Sheriff Chris Swanson (Flint / Genesee County, MI) bring their authentic, fun and at times intense conversations on unity and social justice from the Black and Blue Podcast to live audiences.  Over the past 10 years, Ken and Chris have literally risked their lives to create UNITY and peace.  They will share their stories and engage students in the civil discourse necessary for us all to move forward.  After an energizing video introduction. the two will dive right into the real dialogue that will make unity cool. The program brings the audience into the conversation with interactive, real time polling and live Q&A.  The audience will be shocked to learn about the real life experiences of their fellow students in the room.

To extend our message beyond the event, the discussion will also be recorded and shared on the Black and Blue Podcast and our social media channels

Format:  75-90 minute Interactive Keynote w Q&A

The audience will leave with:

  • A few surprises and a new awareness of how their peers have been impacted by social justice struggles.
  • An understanding of the importance of walking in another’s shoes before reaching judgment.
  • The audience will gain both the inspiration and the tools necessary to be more respectful towards one another and to participate in civil discourse.
  • US United will partner with campus leaders to create a local chapter of our movement and help students bring unity to their own campus.  They will also bring little bit of US United swag to show off that an audience member is ready to GET UNIFIED!



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.

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.


Sheriff Swanson is a career police officer with experience spanning nearly three decades. He has served in a variety of positions, including corrections, patrol, narcotics, criminal investigation, death investigation, human trafficking investigation, and command operations.

As Sheriff, Christopher oversees the 6th largest Sheriff’s Office and 10th largest law enforcement agency in the State of Michigan. His career has led him to witness some of the most heinous crimes and acts of violence one can imagine. He shares these experiences to audiences across the country to make a positive impact on their lives using lessons from the living and the dead.

Sheriff Swanson attended Mott Community College and holds a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Public Administration, both from the University of Michigan.

In 2019 Sheriff Swanson was instrumental in the creation of the Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team (G.H.O.S.T.). In less than two years of work, G.H.O.S.T. has arrested more than 107 individuals on charges ranging from human trafficking to criminal sexual conduct. G.H.O.S.T. has received national attention for its efforts to combat human trafficking while also ensuring victims are given a voice.

On September 8, 2020, Sheriff Swanson turned another vision into reality with the creation of Inmate Growth Naturally and Intentionally Through Education (I.G.N.I.T.E.). Today, inmates in the Genesee County Jail go to school two hours a day, five days a week. I.G.N.I.T.E. has assisted more than 20 returning citizens find full-time employment upon release. In addition, more than 29,000 hours of coursework has been completed. Math skills have improved 1.5 grades and reading comprehension increased

2.5 grades. I.G.N.I.T.E. is committed to making better people, not better inmates.

Also in 2020, during a time of volatile protest across the Nation in response to the killing of George Floyd, Sheriff Swanson brought protesters and officers in Flint, Michigan together. Those actions led to a viral message of hope for the nation and world. “Sheriff Swanson showed the kind of leadership, courage, and integrity that makes exemplary law enforcement leaders,” stated the National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum.

“They said march with us, so he did”, David Muir – Anchor ABC World News.