Millersville University’s Intercultural Center hosted activist and motivational speaker Ken E. Nwadike Jr. on Wednesday, Sept. 12.  Armed with a message of inclusion, Nwadike challenged students to peel back the superficial layers that separate them and find commonalities within each other.

“I want students to be inspired to make a difference. [It’s important to try to] create a shift on campus toward students being more inclusive by stepping out of their comfort zones,” said Nwadike.

Although Nwadike has influenced thousands, his meager beginnings make him an inspiration to many. Having been homeless for part of his life, Nwadike began his activist career by organizing a running event titled the Hollywood Half Marathon in order to raise money for homeless teens. After the Boston marathon bombing however, he decided to expand his work by launching the “Free Hugs Project” in order to spread love. Since then, he’s become infamous for his de-escalation of violence efforts at protests, riots, political rallies and more.

“[Nwadike’s visit] provided a different perspective to the conversation regarding how even in times of tension there can be a positive outcome to these situations. We got to look at his upbringing and what made him want to get into activism along with his new movement of spreading love and hope in times where there might be tension and injustices,” said Jas Whitlow, director of the Intercultural Center, .

Moving forward, Millersville University hopes to continue the momentum Nwadike’s message inspired within students on campus.

To learn more about Nwadike, please visit: https://freehugsproject.com/about-free-hugs-campaign/.

For more information about the Intercultural Center, contact Director Jas Whitlow at icse@millersville.edu.

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