Event Host will be Kathy Sledge, Grammy Nominated Music Icon, Author, and Producer, and Signature Voice in Sister Sledge
Added Award Presenter will be Rasheda Ali, Speaker, Author, Actress, Parkinson’s disease Advocate, and Daughter of Muhammad Ali
Ann Curry, Ina Bond, Chef Edward Lee, Lindsey Ofcacek, Dr. Richard Lapchick, Among Humanitarian Honorees
Sold out Event will be Livestreamed Starting at 8:00pm EST on the Ali Center’s Website
The Eighth Annual Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards will take place Friday, November 12th at 8:00pm EST, and for the first time ever, will be hosted at the Muhammad Ali Center. The Center is announcing changes to the previously stated presenter lineup. The Event Host will be Grammy nominated music icon, Kathy Sledge. Ms. Sledge, a singer, songwriter, author, producer, and manager, has garnered praise from critics and a legion of fans from all over the world. Known for her signature voice in Sister Sledge, who originated worldwide anthems like “We Are Family,” “Thinking of You,” and “He’s the Greatest Dancer,” has inspired millions of listeners across every generation. At 14 years-old, Kathy and her sisters were invited to perform at Zaire 74, a three-day music festival that promoted the historic “Rumble in the Jungle” boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. Kathy is presently enjoying the success of her popular IG Variety Show “FamilyRoom” cohosted with daughter Kristen Gabrielle. She remains a vibrant presence and is one of the most sought-after voices in dance and pop music today.
Added to the award presenter list will be Rasheda Ali. In addition to being one of Muhammad Ali’s daughters, Rasheda is also an internationally known author, speaker, actress, and Parkinson’s disease advocate. She has participated in countless documentaries and media projects, has served as a writer, casting director, and host for her own celebrity talk show, and most recently was cast in a film which will be released in March 2022.
Ms. Sledge will replace award-nominated film and television actor Eli Goree as Event Host. Ms. Ali will replace Mike Madden, owner of Ali’s Deer Lake Training Camp, and son of the late legendary NFL coach John Madden, as an Award Presenter.
This year’s awards will also be viewable to the public via livestream from the Ali Center’s website.
The Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards incorporate two categories: “seasoned” awards, honoring individuals who have dedicated a significant portion of their lives to humanitarianism and a host of philanthropic causes, and “six core principle” awards, presented to young adults who are 30 years of age or under. Ann Curry, award-winning journalist known for her persistent humanitarian reporting, will be honored with the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Global Citizenship. Ina Bond, Chair Emeritus of the Muhammad Ali Center Board of Directors, and the daughter of W. L. Lyons Brown, who was one of the eleven sponsors who supported Muhammad Ali’s early professional boxing career, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. Chef Edward Lee and Lindsey Ofcacek, co-founders of The LEE Initiative, a nonprofit that is dedicated to diversity and equality in the restaurant industry, will receive the Kentucky Humanitarian Award. Dr. Richard Lapchick, human rights activist, pioneer for racial equality, and internationally recognized expert on sports and social issues, will receive the Humanitarian of the Year Award.
The 2021 event theme is Unity.
The purpose of the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards, an annual fundraiser for the Muhammad Ali Center, is to harness the power of the late Muhammad Ali’s legacy by recognizing individuals who are driven by a call to action to effect positive change in the world and to encourage young people worldwide to have the courage to become actively involved in social justice issues that are impacting their communities and their countries.
In addition to the above “seasoned” awardees, seven young people, 30 years of age and under, will be honored with an award for each of Muhammad Ali’s Six Core Principles: Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect, and Spirituality.
This year’s Core Principle awardees are:
Chelsea Miller & Nialah Edari, ages 24 and 25 (Home Country: United States)
Confidence Award for co-founding Freedom March NYC, one of the largest youth-led civil rights organizations in New York.
Sonita Alizadeh, age 25 (Home country: Afghanistan)
Conviction Award for raising awareness of forced child marriage through her song Daughters for Sale and sharing her own story of escaping child marriage in the award-winning documentary Sonita by Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami.
Christian Stephen, age 26 (Home country: England)
Dedication Award for his frontline coverage of conflict and human rights issues in primarily hostile environments.
Yvette Ishimwe, age 23 (Home Country: Rwanda)
Giving Award for leading the initiative to offer innovative drinking water solutions for vulnerable communities in Rwanda and in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Clementine Jacoby, age 29 (Home Country: United States)
Respect Award for building an open-source platform to turn fragmented criminal justice data into actionable insights for practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and the public.
Darius Baxter, age 27 (Home Country: United States)
Spirituality Award for his work to alleviate poverty in Washington, D.C., and to facilitate funds that provide options and opportunity to families living in public housing.
The Full Lineup of Award presenters are:
Lonnie Ali, Co-Founder of the Muhammad Ali Center and wife of Muhammad Ali
Roger Floyd, Uncle of George Floyd, Co-Founder of George Floyd Memorial Center
Thomas McLaurin, Cousin of George Floyd, Co-Founder of George Floyd Memorial Center
Anwar Khan, President of Islamic Relief, USA
Darnell “SuperChef” Ferguson, Celebrity Chef, Philanthropist, Restauranteur, and Entrepreneur
Michael Waters, professor, pastor, commentator, activist, and author of For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World
Rasheda Ali, Speaker, Author, Actress, Parkinson’s disease Advocate, and Daughter of Muhammad Ali
For additional information about all awardees and presenters, and livestream information, visit HERE.
It is customary for the Ali Center to hold public events surrounding the annual Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards. These events, called Days of Greatness, take place on November 10th and 11th. To learn more about “YOUth are the Greatest” and “Empowering Children Through Story Amid Social Crisis,” visit HERE.
The Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards are made possible through the generous support of our Silver Sponsors, Brown Forman and the LADBible Group, as well as our Table Sponsors, and all of the individuals who have supported this event.