LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (August 4, 2016) — Craig Melvin, national correspondent on NBC News’ TODAY and anchor on MSNBC, will host the Fourth Annual Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards on Saturday, September 17th in Louisville, Ky at the Marriott Louisville Downtown. Six young humanitarians from around the world, age 30 years or younger, will be honored at an evening which celebrates greatness and shines a light on their innovative humanitarian work. Each of these young adults will receive an award that mirrors one of Muhammad Ali’s six core principles—confidence, conviction, dedication, giving, respect, and spirituality—which aligns with their respective fields of work.
This year’s awards will also serve as a tribute to the late, great Muhammad Ali. Ali, who passed away on June 3, 2016, was the co-founder of the Muhammad Ali Center, and attended each of the previous year’s Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards.
The Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards also pay tribute to more “seasoned” humanitarians, whose names will be announced soon. Some of the past awardees have included: President Jimmy Carter, Geena Davis, Common, Jim Brown, Christina Aguilera, Susan Sarandon, Michael Bolton, Mick Ebeling, and others.
This year’s six core principle awardees are:
Josh Nesbit, age 29, Waterford, Virginia will receive the Confidence Award. He is the co-founder and CEO of Medic Mobile, a nonprofit organization that builds mobile and web tools for community health workers, clinic staff, and families in the hardest-to-reach communities. These tools now help over 12,000 health workers provide care for 10 million people in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Medic Mobile focuses on ensuring safe pregnancies, increasing coverage for childhood immunization, delivering lifesaving child health treatments, monitoring stock levels for essential medicines, and tracking disease outbreaks faster. Raised in Virginia, Josh studied global health and bioethics at Stanford University. He has received numerous fellowships and awards, including being name by Forbes as one of the world’s 30 top social entrepreneurs.
Shawana Shah, age 23, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan will receive the Conviction Award. Shawana established Da Hawwa Lur, a non-profit aimed at ending gender-based violence, providing free legal and psychological support to victims of gender-based violence, enhancing women leadership, and promoting peace. She also established the Working Women Union in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Pakistan, which now provides 300 women, home-based and domestic workers, a platform to fight for their rights. Shawana is a member of IHEYO, Child Rights Movement KP and AWID International.
Curt Bowen, age 29, Boise, Idaho will receive the Dedication Award for his environmental work and rural development in Guatemala. He is the executive director and co-founder of Semilla Nueva, a non-profit that develops locally-led farmer education programs that increase the income, rebuild the soils, and improve the food security of Guatemala’s rural poor. Curt was raised on a small organic farm in Idaho. He is the recipient of the Ignite Good Millennial Impact Challenge, Ashoka Emerging Innovators award, and Forbes 2015 30 Under 30.
Jakob Schillinger, age 26, Tuebingen, Germany, will receive the Giving Award. Jakob co-founded OneDollarGlasses with the vision to bring affordable eyewear to over 150 million people in need. The social venture uses new manual technology to locally produce high-quality prescription eyeglasses for a cost of less than one dollar per pair. Today, the company employs around 80 people in Burkina Faso, Brazil, Bolivia, Benin, Malawi and Mexico, and has produced and sold more than 30,000 glasses. This year, Jakob was put on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list for Social Entrepreneurs in Europe.
Tina Hovsepian, age 29, Los Angeles, California will receive the Respect Award. She is the founder and executive director of Cardborigami, a non-profit that supports those who have lost their homes due to poverty, natural disasters, or other crises. Based in Los Angeles, her local work also includes a job creation program called #YOUTHPLOYMENT that hires homeless youth as paid interns to build shelters. To date, Tina has helped rebuild roads, schools, libraries, and homes; positively impacting over 470 students and their families. Toyota recently titled her ‘Mother of Invention.’
Navonel Glick (Voni), age 29, Tel Aviv, Israel will be honored for Spirituality Award for his work as chief operating officer of IsraAID. Prior to his current role, Voni served as IsraAID’s programs director, leading disaster-response missions across the world, including the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan, Sierra Leone after the Ebola outbreak, and Northern Iraq since the emergence of the Islamic State. An Israeli/Canadian citizen, Voni completed an International Baccalaureate in France in 2004, before attending McGill University in Montreal.
This year’s Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards are supported by: YUM! Brands Foundation, Brown-Forman Corporation, LG&E and KU Energy, Horseshoe Southern Indiana, Harold C. Schott Foundation, Tandem PR & Marketing, Ashbourne Farms and River Bend Farm.
Tickets and Table Sponsorships
FUSION will serve as the exclusive media partner for the 2016 Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards. FUSION will produce a six-part digital series about Muhammad Ali’s life and legacy leading up to the 2016 Humanitarian Awards, profiles about all the honorees and their contributions, and a primetime television special. This series of reports will run across FUSION’s TV, digital, social, and OTT platforms as well TheRoot.com, the number one news and culture site for African Americans. This global exposure helps raise awareness of the Awards and also shines a spotlight on individual award recipients and the humanitarian work they do.
About the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards
The fourth annual Muhammad Ali Humanitarian awards will take place on September 17th, 2016 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 or younger, are honored with an award for each of Muhammad’s Six Core Principles: Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect, and Spirituality. This event is the premiere annual fundraiser for the Muhammad Ali Center.
Through impactful journalism and smart commentary, FUSION covers the stories that matter to the new, rising American mainstream. FUSION content is available to audiences across a broad range of platforms including cable television (channel listings), FUSION.net, various OTT providers and social media platforms. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. FUSION will be a part of the recently announced Fusion Media Group, a division of Univision Communications Inc.
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