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Ann Curry, Ina Bond, Chef Edward Lee, Lindsey Ofcacek, Dr. Richard Lapchick, Among Those Being Honored During Eighth Annual Awards on November 12th at the Ali Center.

Host for the Evening is Eli Goree, Star of 2020 Film One Night in Miami; Other Presenters also Announced

Event is Sold Out but 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. This year’s awards will also be viewable to the public via livestream from the Ali Center’s website. The 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. Eli Goree, award-nominated television and film actor known for his portrayal of Cassius Clay in the 2020 Film One Night in Miami, will be the Host for this year’s awards.

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.

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 “Super Chef” 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

Mike Madden, Owner of Muhammad Ali’s Deer Lake Training Camp in Reading, PA, and son of legendary NFL coach and broadcaster John Madden

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

Notes to Media:

Credential requests are now open!

Please submit your information here: by Monday, November 8th.

Photos of awardees and presenters are available upon request.

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.

PLEASE NOTE: To maintain the safety of our event, all attendees must wear masks over their nose and mouth unless eating or drinking. Upon arrival, all attendees must present proof of COVID-19 vaccination (digital or card copy) or negative results from a PCR test taken no more than 3 days prior to the event. Please ensure that all media personnel attending are aware of these important measures and are prepared to show verification of vaccine or test when they arrive on November 12th.