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Complete List of Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award Recipients and Presenters Announced – Includes A-List Celebrities

Bruno Mars benefit concert kicks off week of celebration before Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards

The Muhammad Ali Center is proud to announce the award recipients for its second annual Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards to take place on Saturday, September 27 at the Louisville Marriott Downtown. The Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards, presented by the Yum! Brands Foundation, celebrate the greatness of people from around the world who are making differences in their communities and beyond. In addition to awards given to seasoned humanitarians, six young people, 30 years and younger, are honored with an award for each of Muhammad’s Six Core Principles: Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect, and Spirituality.

“I am so proud of this year’s Muhammad Ali Award recipients,“ said Muhammad Ali. “This group of young people are passionate, dedicated and courageous. By example, they serve as role models to other young adults and to us. These young men and women show how one person can make a positive difference in the lives of other individuals and communities around the world. I recognize that they are champions in their own right.”

Recipients of the 2014 Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards include: former NFL star, social justice activist, and actor Jim Brown; international humanitarian and entrepreneur, Mick Ebeling; Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon; musician, poet, and activist Common; six young adults (age 30 and under), and humanitarians from here in the Commonwealth.

Jim Brown will be presented the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Lifetime Achievement Award. Jim Brown is known worldwide for his Hall of Fame football exploits as a running back for the NFL’s Cleveland Browns. He boldly stood up for civil rights at a time it was not a cool thing to do, and fought for equality and against injustice with necessitated courage and uncompromising integrity. It was Jim Brown who rallied the premiere athletes of the 1960s to support Muhammad Ali’s right to conscientiously object to service in the Vietnam War. Brown founded the Amer-I-Can Life Management Skills program in 1988, a program that has changed and saved thousands of lives.

Mick Ebeling will receive the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian of the Year Award for his work as founder and CEO of Not Impossible, LLC, an organization that develops creative solutions to real-world problems. Impossible’s latest endeavor, Project Daniel, is the subject of Intel’s latest Look Inside campaign. For Project Daniel, Ebeling flew to Sudan to 3D-print and fit prosthetic limbs for children of the war-torn region, then left the equipment behind with locals he’d trained who continued after he left, thus establishing the world’s first 3D printing prosthetic lab and training facility.  Mick also created the Eyewriter: a DIY, open-source, low-cost device that enables individuals with paralysis to communicate and create art using only the movement of their eyes.

Susan Sarandon will be honored with the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Global Citizenship. The Academy-Award winning actress and social and economic activist’s charitable work includes serving as an ambassador for UNICEF, on the board of advisors for the Yéle Haiti Foundation, and on the Advisory Committee for FilmAid International. She also has served on the Amazon Conservation Team (ACT) Board of Directors and is now on their Advisory Board. Susan was Action Against Hunger’s award recipient at the “Restaurants Against Hunger Campaign” gala in 2006, in honor of World Food Day.

Common will be honored with the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Education. Common, who is a multiple Grammy Award-winning hip hop artist, poet, and guest speaker known to motivate and empower collegiate minds at prestigious universities across the country. In 2000, he launched his own philanthropic effort, The Common Ground Foundation, whose mission is dedicated to the empowerment and development of disadvantaged youth in urban communities by mentoring in three areas: character development, creative expression and healthy living.

Other awardees include a Kentucky Humanitarian Award and six young winners, one for each of Muhammad Ali’s Six Core Principles.

This year’s Muhammad Ali  Kentucky Humanitarian Award will go to Mr. and Mrs. Robert and Deborah Blair, founders of the West End School in Louisville. West End School is a free, private, college preparatory, Pre-K through Eighth school for young men. West End School strives to address all of the issues boys in the community face by creating an environment of high expectations and personal responsibility. Through the School’s rigorous academic and personal standards, students are encouraged to attain the highest possible level of scholarship, character, and intellectual growth.

Jessica Matthews, age 26 of New York, USA, will be honored for her Confidence in her role with Unchartered Play. Uncharted Play is an organization that creates toys to generate electricity.  She has developed a soccer ball, “Soccket,” that generates 3 hours of electricity from 30 minutes of play.  Her company, a social enterprise, also offers the “Pulse” jump rope that generates 6 hours of energy from 15 minutes of play.  A graduate of Harvard University, Ms. Matthews has used her creativity and talent to directly address access to electricity for people in the developing world.

Mario Andrés Hurtado Cardozo, age 22 of Colombia, will be recognized for his Conviction with Acción Colectiva de Objetores y Objetoras de Conciencia. Cardozo’s organization promotes the right to be a conscientious objector in one of the most militarized countries in the world, while generating life-affirming, creative, nonviolent collective actions to promote peace and social justice.

Kennedy Odede, age 29 of Kenya, will receive the Dedication honor for his Work with Shining Hope for Communities. Kennedy is the president and CEO of Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO). SHOFCO’s current programming comprises a school for girls, a free health clinic, a micro-loan and micro-savings program, sanitation and clean water services, and a program to combat gender‐based violence and promote sexual health of young people in the community. Kennedy founded SHOFCO with nothing more than a soccer ball and his “faith in people’s abilities to change their own lives.”

Talia Leman, age 19 from Iowa, USA will be honored with the Giving Award for her role with RandomKid. As the CEO and a Founder of RandomKid, Talia develops ideas, strategies and networks between kids internationally to increase their impact. She also leads “power” assemblies, doles out seed funds to help jumpstart philanthropic ventures, organizes web-conferences between youth across the globe, and mentors her peers in success strategies for achieving their goals to benefit others. Having been appointed UNICEF’s first known National Youth Ambassador, Talia has worked with kids from 20 countries and together these kids have reported close to 11 million dollars through RandomKid-guided initiatives.

Sejal Hathi, 23 from California, will receive the Respect Award to recognize her work with girltank, S2 Capital. An avid social entrepreneur, Sejal founded both the nonprofit Girls Helping Girls at age 15, and the social enterprise girltank at age 19, dedicated to socially and economically empowering young women globally. Over the last few years, these organizations trained and mobilized 32,000 young women change makers in 104 countries to design sustainable social change. Sejal is also a Founding Partner at S2 Capital, an early-stage fund that invests equity and debt in young entrepreneurs in the developing world.

Mastura Rashid, age 24 of Malaysia, will be honored withthe SpiritualityAward. Rashid is the founder and project manager of the Nasi Lemak Project, a community service project she initiated in 2011. The Nasi Lemak Project is a young, independent and effective movement to counter urban poverty in Malaysia. The Nasi Lemak Project gained traction and momentum when Rashid was one of the few who received funding from the office of Special Representative of Muslim Communities under their Generation Change Grant. The Nasi Lemak Project mechanism in eradicating urban poverty is done through these three main areas: feeding program, education, and rendering assistance.

“The Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards are a concrete example of using Muhammad’s ideals to inspire young people to courageously do great things in the world,” said Donald Lassere, President and CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center. “These awards and the Ali Center benefit concert by Bruno Mars– sponsored by Horseshoe of Southern Indiana–are designed to shine a spotlight on the power of making a difference in the world and affording the community the opportunity to witness and be inspired by the greatness within others, and within ourselves.”

In light of inspiring youth to become active at improving their communities, the Ali Center is offering a special rate for youth 18 and under. Tickets are available on the Center’s website,

All Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards ticket purchases include tickets to the September 20 CONGO14-Louisville Ali Center Benefit Concert Featuring Bruno Mars (with opening acts by the Temptations Review and Southern Sirens). This concert, sponsored by Horseshoe Southern Indiana, will take place at the Kentucky International Convention Center.

Presenters at the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards will include:

  • Lonnie Ali (Co-founder of the Muhammad Ali Center)
  • Brad Montague and Robby Novak (Co-creators of Kid President)
  • Holly Robinson-Peete (Actress)
  • Father George Kilcourse (Bellarmine University)
  • William Mapother (Actor, co-founder of Slated)
  • Dr. Pearse Lyons (Alltech founder)
  • Donald Lassere (Ali Center CEO)
  • Congressman John Yarmuth (D3-Kentucky)
  • Pamela Brown (CNN Justice Correspondent)

 As previously announced, host of NBC’s Today Show, Matt Lauer, will serve as host for the awards ceremony.

Special recognition will be bestowed upon Azucena Chamberlain, a Spanish teacher for the Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) system, who volunteers her time as an after-school flamenco instructor at two JCPS elementary schools. Also recognized will be Gabriel (Gabe The Cake Man) and Olivia (Livvy) Feinn, siblings who have been working together to raise $35,000 to build a hospital in Africa by baking cakes and cupcakes for those who donate to their cause.

The physical awards given to honorees are handmade by Louisville’s own Flame Run Glass Studio and Gallery. This will be the second year that Flame Run has created these distinguished works of art, which feature Muhammad Ali’s thumbprint.

Sponsors of the second annual Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards are as follows:

Presenting Sponsor
The Yum! Brands Foundation

Silver Sponsors
Brown-Forman Corporation
Horseshoe Southern Indiana

Bronze Sponsors
LG&E KU Energy
Ashbourne Farms
River Bend Farm
Tandem Public Relations & Marketing
The Harold C. Schott Foundation

Ali Center Benefit Concert Featuring Bruno Mars

In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the legendary “Rumble In The Jungle” boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, 18-time Grammy nominee and two-time Grammy winner, Bruno Mars, will be performing a full set of hits from his Moonshine Jungle tour – including “Grenade,” “If I Were Your Man,” “Just the Way You Are,” “Locked Out of Heaven,” “Treasure,” and many others. Opening acts include The Temptations Review, featuring Dennis Edwards along with Southern Sirens, an all-girl Folk/Americana trio based in Louisville.

Tickets to the event are now on sale. Discount tickets are available for military families, students, and educators.  Show your ticket stub and receive free admission to the Ali Center! Tickets are available at the Kentucky Exposition Center Ticket Office and all Ticketmaster outlets. Purchase yours by calling 1-800-745-3000 FREE and online at

For more information on the second annual Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards to be held September 27 at the Louisville Marriott Downtown, visit To promote the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards on social media, please use this hashtag: #Ali Awards.

The Ali Center is located at 144 North Sixth Street in downtown Louisville. Parking is available on side streets or in the PARC garage located below the Ali Center.  For questions, please call 502.584.9254 or visit



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