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American Ninja Warrior Co-Host Akbar Gbajabiamila to Host Sixth Annual Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards on September 20th

“Six Core Principle” Recipients Named
Other Awardees, Presenters, and Entertainment to be Announced Shortly

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (August 15, 2018) — Akbar Gbajabiamila, former NFL player and current co-host on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior and NFL Network’s Fantasy Live, will emcee the Sixth Annual Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards, on Thursday, September 20th in Louisville, Ky, at the new downtown Omni Louisville Hotel.

Six young humanitarians, age 30 and under, 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. Four other “seasoned” humanitarians will receive an award for dedicating their lives to humanitarianism and a host of other philanthropic causes.

The relevance of these awards is to showcase the impact of ordinary people doing extraordinary humanitarian work around the world.

Lonnie Ali, Co-Founder of the Muhammad Ali Center and widow of Muhammad Ali, said, “Like Muhammad, by their example these awardees serve as role models to all of us, and they help to ensure that the legacy Muhammad left on this world continues to inspire, transform, and ignite positive change for the betterment of individuals and the whole of humanity. If there was a time for the power of his example to be heeded, it is now.”

The “seasoned” Muhammad Ali Humanitarian awardees will be announced soon. This year’s Six Core Principle Awardees are:

Sheldon Smith, age 29, Chicago, will be honored for his Confidence working with young fathers. His organization, The Dovetail Project, helps lay the foundation to have a positive impact and build strong relationships between fathers and their children. Sheldon has raised over $4.5 million from private foundations and donors over the past eight years. Among much recognition, Sheldon was selected as a 2018 American Red Cross Community Impact Hero and 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur.

Kushagra Srivastava, age 23, New Delhi, India will receive the Conviction Award. He is the CEO and co-founder of Chakr Innovation and believes that a clean environment is a fundamental right of every citizen. He is an Echoing Green Fellow, one of the 7 MIT GSW fellows, and on this year’s list of Forbes 30 Under 30 Global.

Lisa Curtis, age 30, California, will be honored for her Dedication to helping the women of West Africa through her company, Kuli Kuli, the first brand to introduce the green superfood, moringa, to the U.S. market. Lisa was honored as a 30 Under 30 Leader by Greenbiz, the University of California, and Forbes.

Alexandria Lafci, age 28, United States, will receive the Giving Award for her work as a Co-Founder of New Story, an innovative nonprofit that builds homes and communities in the developing world. In 2018, she co-led the creation of a 3D home printer designed to work in complex environments, and successfully printed the first permitted 3D home in the U.S.

Alex Holmes, age 30, United Kingdom, will receive the Respect Award for his anti-bullying program he founded through The Diana Award. Alex has been the driving force behind empowering over 28,000 young ambassadors in over 3,000 schools across UK/Ireland and internationally, introducing powerful peer-to-peer support programs to tackle bullying online and offline.

Reyna Montoya, age 27, Arizona, will be honored for her Spirituality as the founder and executive director of Aliento. She is an undocumented/DACAmented entrepreneur and community organizer, engaged in local, statewide and national platforms to advance justice for immigrant communities. She is a 2017 Echoing Green Fellow and a 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur

Besides Brown-Forman, this year’s Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards are supported by: Horseshoe Southern Indiana, Tandem PR, Ashbourne Farms and River Bend Farm.

Ticket and Table Sponsors
Tickets to the awards can be purchased by September 6th through the Ali Center’s website or by contacting Erin Herbert at or 502.992.5341. For more information, visit

About the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards
The Sixth Annual Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards will take place on September 20th, 2018 at the Omni Louisville Hotel 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.

About 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