LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (July 27, 2015) — Six young humanitarians from around the world, age 30 years or younger, will be honored with an award at the third annual Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards: An Evening to Celebrate Greatness. The awards, presented by the YUM! Brands Foundation, will take place on Saturday, September 19, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky at the Marriott Louisville Downtown.
Dr. Andrew Moore II, of Lexington, Kentucky, was previously announced as the Kentucky Humanitarian Awardee for founding the successful Surgery on Sunday program. Other Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award recipients will be announced soon.
The Six Core Principle Honorary Recipients—each who will be presented an award that mirrors one of Muhammad Ali’s six core principles (Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect, and Spirituality)—and that aligns with the humanitarian work they are committed to, are:
Kyla LaPointe, age 24 of Bathurst, New Brunswick will be honored for her Confidence as a leading advocate for child rights nationally and internationally. Her own experiences living in foster care have motivated her to advocate for continued focus on vulnerable children and youth. Through mentorship of young people in the care of the province, she works to empower youth to share their voices and to become leaders. LaPointe played a key role in founding the New Brunswick Youth in Care Network. She also works with the North American Council on Adoptable Children, the New Brunswick Adoption Foundation, the Partners for Youth NB, and as an advisor to the province’s Office of the Child and Youth Advocate. Now living in British Columbia, she works for the BC Child and Youth Advocates office as an ambassador for the B.C. Youth In Care Network based in Victoria. LaPointe has received various awards and scholarships and contributes to an ongoing study with the Department of Social work at St. Thomas University.
Hadiqa Bashir, only 13 years old, will be honored for her Conviction in dedicating her young life to the advocacy of women’s and girl’s rights against forced child marriage in Pakistan. As a pioneer of the Girls United for Human Rights Group, Hadiqa is from the District Swat in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan which once remained under the control of the Taliban. The Girls United for Human Rights’ mission is to empower disfranchised girls in rural regions of Pakistan, eliminate socioeconomic inequality, facilitate self-reliance, enable local self-governance, and promote people’s advocacy. Their goals are to reduce discrimination and violence against girls, including early and forced marriages, and to generate awareness and provide education to women and girls about their rights. Hadiqa’s promotion of gender equality against the popular beliefs of her patriarchal culture comes at great risk to her own life.
Christopher Ategeka, 31*, will receive the honor for Dedication. Born and raised in rural Uganda, Chris lost both of his parents to HIV/AIDS at just 7 years old and then raised his four siblings. Overcoming great adversity, he moved to Berkeley where he earned a Master’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California. In 2011, he used his hard-won experience to start Rides for Lives to address health inequity in his home country. Since then, his organization has provided transportation to healthcare facilities for more than 300,000 rural Ugandans, with a mobile health unit serving nearly 2,400 patients every month. In addition, Rides for Lives builds bicycles and motorcycle ambulances as well as mobile health units (“bus hospitals”) to deliver healthcare in hard to reach areas. He has won numerous awards for this work including the Echoing Green Fellow and Ashoka Fellow. He gave a TED Talk, spoke at the United Nations and at the White House, and has been featured in major media publications BBC, Yahoo, NPR, Huffington Post, KQED, FastCompany, Forbes, and more.
*Christopher turned 31 years old this month, but was nominated for the award when he was 30.
Veronika Scott, age 26, is receiving the Giving Award for she enables others to become givers. She has created a sustainable program that addresses a root cause of homelessness—unemployment—by providing homeless women with jobs as seamstresses who create thermal, waterproof coats for other homeless individuals. Founder of The Empowerment Plan, Veronika has built an organization that began around a single idea: to design a coat specifically for the homeless. The coat is self-heated, waterproof, and transforms into a sleeping bag at night. That idea blossomed into a system of empowerment in which homeless women are paid to learn how to produce coats for people living on the streets, giving them an opportunity to earn money, finding a place to live, and reclaiming their independence. Veronika, from Detroit, Michigan (USA), is the youngest recipient of the JFK New Frontier Award from Harvard University, has also received an IDEA Gold Award from the Industrial Design Society of America, has been named one of the 2015 Forbes 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneurs, and won their regional Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year award. The Empowerment Plan story has been told all over the world and shared at events such as the Forbes 400 Philanthropy Summit.
Sasha Fisher, age 26, will be honored for the Respect core principle. Sasha is the co-founder and executive director of Spark MicroGrants. Spark enables remote villages in east Africa to design and launch their own social impact projects through a six-month facilitated collective action process. Sasha moved to Rwanda in 2010 to launch Spark and has since led the organization to work across Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi with 111 communities reaching over 80,000 people in the first five years. Sasha’s innovative approach to sustainable global development provides a new type of assistance in which investors in wealthy countries truly respect and share responsibility with the communities they are trying to help. Sasha, who hails from New York, New York, holds a BA from the University of Vermont in Studio Art and a self-designed major of Human Security—a paradigm for development that recognizes the rising legitimacy of non-state actors in securing basic human needs.
Tanyella Evans, 28, will be honored for her extraordinary sense of Spirituality. Tanyella’s experience in social entrepreneurship and international development emerge through the lens of education and culture, with an over-riding belief that all human beings are inter-connected. Tanyella is driven by the philosophy that education is a basic human right, essential to prosperity and peace. Having made significant personal sacrifices to act on her beliefs, she co-founded Library For All, an organization that offers a digital library platform to make quality educational resources available to individuals across the developing world. Prior to Library For All, Tanyella, who hails from the United Kingdom (UK), served as executive director of the Artists for Peace and Justice, where she led a team to establish a school of over 2,000 students in one of the poorest slums in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Tanyella also worked as a teacher in Uganda and trained at the Campaign for Female Education in the UK. She is a recipient of a United World College scholarship to Lester B. Pearson College, and graduated with a degree in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge in the UK.
In addition to the YUM! Brands Foundation, this year’s Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards are also supported by: The Brown-Forman Corporation, LG&E and KU Energy, Horseshoe Southern Indiana, the Harold C. Schott Foundation, Tandem Public Relations and Marketing, River Bend Farms, and Ashbourne Farm.
Tickets to the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards
Tickets to the awards can be purchased through the Ali Center’s website, or by contacting Kelly Watson at email@example.com or (502) 992-5338. For more information, visit http://alicenter.org/awards/
# # #
About the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards
The Third Annual Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards will take place on September 19th, 2015 at the Louisville Marriott Downtown in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. This charitable event of celebration and recognition will honor individuals around the world who have made significant contributions toward the attainment of peace, social justice, or other positive actions pertaining to human or social capital. In addition to awards presented to seasoned humanitarians, six young people, 30 years and younger, are honored with an award for each of Muhammad’s Six Core Principles: Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect, and Spirituality. This event, presented by Yum! Brands Foundation, is the premiere annual fundraiser for the Muhammad Ali Center.
The Muhammad Ali Center, a 501(c)3 corporation, was co-founded by Muhammad Ali and his wife Lonnie in their hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. The international cultural center promotes the six core principles of Muhammad Ali (Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect, and Spirituality) in ways that inspire personal and global greatness and provides programming and events around the focus areas of education, gender equity, and global citizenship. Its newest initiative, Generation Ali, fosters a new generation of leaders to contribute positively to their communities and to change the world for the better. The Center’s headquarters also contains an award-winning museum experience. For more information, please visit www.alicenter.org
Senior Director of Public Relations and External Affairs