Center announces 2023 Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award recipients

Ballroom full of people attending an event and a colorful empty stage



Ali Center announces 2023 Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award recipients

Awardees include KIND Bars Founder, Innocence Project co-founder, LMPD Officers, HollyRod Foundation

LOUISVILLE, KY (August 28, 2023) — The 10th annual Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards will take place Saturday, November 4, and boasts another esteemed panel of honorees.
The Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards, the Center’s largest annual fundraiser, incorporates two categories: Seasoned Awards, honoring individuals who have dedicated a significant portion of their lives to humanitarianism, and Six Core Principles Awards, presented to young adults 30 years of age or younger.

Daniel Lubetzky, a social entrepreneur best known as the Founder of KIND Snacks, will receive the first-ever Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Civility & Compassion for his commitment to building businesses and civic movements that empower people to solve problems together across perceived divides. Lubetzky, the son of a Holocaust survivor, strives to prevent what happened to his father and others from happening again. He conceived civic movements, OneVoice and Starts With Us, to give voice and agency to the vast majority of people who favor common sense solution-building over extreme partisanship and hateful divisiveness. He is also a reoccurring Shark on ABC’s Shark Tank.

Jason Flom will receive the Muhammad Ali Lifetime Achievement Award. Jason is the Founder and CEO of Lava Records, and Lava Media, LLC, and the former chairman and CEO of Atlantic Records and Virgin Records. Jason is an outspoken advocate for the wrongfully convicted. Through his work co-founding the Innocence Project and Families Against Mandatory Minimums, he’s raised significant awareness and funds toward criminal justice reform. He hosts the hit podcast Wrongful Convictions and serves as a board member of numerous criminal justice reform organizations.

Actress Holly Robinson Peete and her husband, former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, will receive the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian of the Year Award. The couple founded the HollyRod Foundation to raise awareness and provide resources to families with a loved one who has received an autism or Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis. The Peetes were inspired to start the foundation to honor Holly’s father, actor Matthew T. Robinson Jr., who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 45, and their son RJ, who was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. The couple works to provide compassionate care for families and empower individuals to live their best lives.

This year’s Kentuckian of the Year Award will be given to Officer Nickolas Wilt of the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD), who was one of the first officers on the scene of the Old National Bank Shooting earlier this year. Wilt, who was severely wounded in the incident, was motivated to join LMPD to serve and protect his community while educating and providing aid to those in need. He previously worked with Oldham County EMS and as a local firefighter and dispatcher.

Joining those Seasoned Awardees will be six young international humanitarians doing work in their countries and communities which embodies one of Muhammad Ali’s Six Core Principles: Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect, and Spirituality.

Andrew Brennen (25) will become the first-ever Kentucky-native Core Principle honoree when he receives the Confidence Award for his work co-founding Kentucky Student Voice. Brennen also co-authored Kentucky HB 236, a bill vying for Kentucky student inclusion. He is pursuing his law degree from Columbia University in the Fall and is a National Geographic Society fellow. Pashtana Durrani (25) will receive the Conviction Award for her courageous work as founder of LEARN Afghanistan to educate girls and women in the country. Durrani has educated 7,000 girls and boys in Kandahar and trained more than 80 teachers in digital literacy. She was previously honored by the Malala Fund and among the BBC 100 and Time 100 influence lists.

Anna Luísa Beserra Santos (25) of Brazil will receive the Dedication award for her work to provide safe drinking water, handwashing, and sanitation to rural families. She is the founder of Sustainable Water and Development for All and a United Nations “Young Champion of the Earth.” Nidhi Pant (30) of India will receive the Giving Award. Pant is the co-founder of S4S Technologies and her work focuses on sustainability and inclusion by empowering women to be climate champions, farmers, and entrepreneurs.

Leon Ford (29) was paralyzed when he was shot by police officers during a traffic stop in Pittsburgh in 2012. He will receive the Respect Award to honor the work of his organization, the Hear Foundation. Through his collaboration with Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert, Ford’s Hear Foundation tackles issues of gun violence, racial justice, and police reform.

Dr. Daniel Nour (27) will become the first Australian Awardee when he accepts the Spirituality Award. Dr. Nour founded Street Side Medics – a mobile medical service specifically created for people experiencing homelessness.

If you are interested in sponsoring the event or reserving a table for 10, please email Theresa Burridge ( Individual tickets will go on sale in September.

To involve the larger Louisville community and introduce them to the 2023 honorees, the Ali Center will hold a public event on November 3rd. More information on that event to follow.

Notes to Media:

Credential requests are now open!

Please submit your information here: by Monday, October 30.

Photos of awardees available upon request.

The Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards are made possible through the generous support of Brown-Forman, as well as by travel sponsorships from Louisville Tourism and 21C Museum Hotel, and by all the corporate and individual donors who support this event.


Annie Moore

Muhammad Ali Center

502.992.5338 or 812.786.1072 mobile

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