Free Hugs Project spreads positivity in controversial times

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CEO of the Free Hugs Project Ken E. Nwadike will be spreading joy and positivity on the Glenn Terrell Mall today with his film crew and will hold a program at 6 p.m. in the CUB Auditorium where students are encouraged to interact with him.

Ally McGuire, SEB speakers programmer, is looking forward to the students’ reactions and feedback from his visit. She said that she thinks it is a perfect time for him to come, considering all the current events around the world.

This event was only planned about a month in advance, but McGuire believes it is worth it.

“Everything was super rushed, but I was like, ‘we can do it, we have to bring him,’” McGuire said. “I think it’s important that we got him here.”

There is going to be a lot of controversy with this, McGuire said, although no sides are being taken in this event.

“We just want everyone to remember that with all the controversy, it’s important to remember we’re all human,” McGuire said. “The message of love is way better than the message of hate.”

Nwadike is personable, open to dialogue and his message is important, McGuire said.

Students should recognize through this event that regardless of what you believe or what opposing opinions other people have, we all have feelings, McGuire said.

“Let’s just remember to not be mean,” McGuire said. “There’s a lot of conflict with opinions right now.”

Alex Weber, SEB Social Media Manager, helped design the promotion poster and will be filming the event. He is excited to see what Nwadike will do while he is here.

“It’s not every day that you get to hear from someone who is known for being YouTube viral,” Weber said. “I think it’s going to be a lot more humbling than anything.”

Nwadike’s fame came about much differently than we’re used to seeing on campus, and he has a lot of knowledge to offer students. It’s a story everyone should hear, Weber said.

Weber said he is interested to see if any controversy that arises during this event will make an interesting video that can potentially go viral, even though it’s not a riot or a hug marathon, like Nwadike has attended in the past.

During Nwadike’s program, he will discuss his story and why he started the Free Hugs Project. He will talk with students in order to engage them in discussing the conflict of race and differing views, McGuire said.

Nwadike will be giving out free hugs throughout the day today on the Glenn Terrell Friendship Mall. His talk will take place at 6 p.m. tonight in the CUB Auditorium. Admission to the talk is free for WSU students and $2 for non-students.