In a time of deep political division, one man is on a mission to bring people together, one hug or high five at a time.
Dave Sylvester hopes to bring America together. He goes by “Big Dave,” a name that matches both his stature and his personality.
Starting with his first stop Monday morning at the Governor’s Cafe in Dover, Sylvester will visit 48 states through September, encouraging people he meets to find areas of unity with each other with the the slap of a high five or a big bear hug.
Hugs and high fives “can remind you physically that there is a common ground that we have and maybe we can go from there,” Sylvester said. “If we can hug it out, maybe we can negotiate it out, and if we can negotiate it out, maybe we can just be better. It’s just that simple.”
Inspired by the death of a friend in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Sylvester has biked across America, Africa and Asia spreading his message since 2001.
His latest tour of the country — by car this time — will end in Philadelphia on September 15th. On Wednesday he will be in what some would call the epicenter of division: Washington, D.C.
“Everything is about ‘what color are you?’ in terms of red [states] or blue [states]. Just stop,” Sylvester said. “I just want people to connect a little bit more.”
He hopes to give out 25,000 hugs and high-fives by the tour’s end. “I just hope everyone just looks at my story and turns their own volume down a little bit and listens to the other guy.”