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Fifth Annual Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awardees Announced: HRH Princess Dr. Nisreen El-Hashemite, Patricia Arquette, Ashley Judd, Hill Harper, Paige Elenson Among Honorees; Presenters Names Also Released

Michael Buffer to Emcee the Awards on September 23rd in Louisville, Ky

Tickets Available Through September 8th

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (August 23, 2017) — Academy award-winning actress and humanitarian Patricia Arquette will receive the prestigious Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Lifetime Achievement and Her Royal Highness (HRH) Princess Dr. Nisreen El-Hashemite will be honored as Humanitarian of the Year at the Fifth Annual Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards presented by Brown-Forman, taking place at the Marriott Louisville Downtown. Actress, activist and Kentuckian Ashley Judd will be presented the Muhammad Ali Kentucky Humanitarian Award. Global humanitarian Paige Elenson will receive the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Global Citizenship and actor, author, and philanthropist Hill Harper will be honored with the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Education. Professional ring announcer Michael Buffer will be the emcee for the evening. More information about each of these individuals is provided below.

The Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards celebrate the greatness of people from around the world who are making a difference in their community and beyond. 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. More information on these already-announced recipients is available below.

HRH Princess Dr. Nisreen El-Hashemite, Muhammad Ali Humanitarian of the Year Award

HRH Princess Dr. Nisreen’s origins combine history, religion, politics, education, and humanitarianism: since she is a direct descendent of the Prophet of Islam, Mohammed, and granddaughter of King Faisal (I), the founder of the Modern State of Iraq. Princess Dr. Nisreen is the recipient of multiple awards and Honorary Doctorates in the fields of science, arts, literature, and humanitarian affairs.

Among multiple other humanitarian achievements, she established the World Women’s Health and Development Forum at the United Nations and is the Founder of the Women in Science International League. In 2015, she was the catalyst for the UN General Assembly to proclaim February 11th the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

She is founder of MUTE International Program, to promote, protect and ensure equal human rights for the deaf and hearing-impaired; and a co-founder of Culture for Peace Program, to promote peace through arts.


Patricia Arquette, Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Lifetime Achievement

Actress, writer and activist Patricia Arquette has spent her career portraying memorable characters in film and on television. Winner of both the Academy Award and the Emmy for her acting, Arquette has chosen to use her considerable visibility to shine a light on issues and speak for people whose voices are rarely heard. Patricia Arquette founded GiveLove in January 2010 after the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Her hands-on approach to ecological sanitation has inspired the best experts in the field to work on programs and solutions. Patricia’s interest in promoting compost sanitation and improving public health is motivated by the desire to protect water resources, restore soil fertility, and create more resilient communities.

Patricia has been honored with the GLAAD Vanguard award for being a fierce ally to the LGBT community.  She has also galvanized a growing movement determined to achieve equality for women in the United States and has been a steadfast champion for women over the course of many years.


Ashley Judd, Muhammad Ali Kentucky Humanitarian Award

Ashley Judd is well known for dexterously starring in both box office hits and for turning in unforgettable performances in fine independent films. From her debut in Sundance Film Festival grand jury prize winner, Ruby In Paradise, to Where the Heart IsSimon BurchHelen,  De-Lovely  and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood,  her films tell very personal stories-- which is exactly what Judd does when she is not making movies.

Ashley Judd is a feminist social justice humanitarian.  She has been working internationally, with NGO’S, grass roots organizations, governments, and supranational bodies since 2004.  Presently, she serves as Global Goodwill Ambassador for UNFPA, is the Global Ambassador for Population Services International, and also for Polaris Project. She also serves on multiple advisory boards and is Chairperson of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project: Curbing Abuse, Expanding Freedom. In addition, Ms. Judd has travelled the world to do international public health.

Ashley is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, and in 2010, earned an MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. 

Paige Elenson, Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Global Citizenship

A native New Yorker, graduate of New York University, and former Wall Street consultant, Paige has been teaching yoga for over a decade in the dynamic Baptiste, AcroYoga, and Jivamukti methods. As a Senior Baptiste and AcroYoga Teacher, Paige teaches in Yoga Journal Conferences across the United States, and is a featured presenter at the Evolution Asia Yoga Conference, the Barcelona Yoga Conference, the AcroYoga Festival, the Baptiste Power Flow Immersion, and the Yoga Teacher Telesummit.

Paige’s incisive skills as a businesswoman, spiritual activist, and yogini inspired her work with the Africa Yoga Project organization. In 2007, Paige moved to Africa and co-founded the AYP organization, a movement that empowers the youth and women of Kenya to learn, contribute, and change their lives through the transformative power of yoga. With the support of Baron Baptiste and his community, the AYP organization facilitated the first yoga teacher training in Kenya and now employs local youth to teach full-time in their own communities. AYP programs offer free classes to over 3,000 students per week, simultaneously building schools and funding education, critical operations, and environmental endeavors.


Hill Harper, Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Education

Hill Harper is an award-winning actor, best-selling author, philanthropist, motivational speaker, and entrepreneur.  Harper starred on the hit CBS drama CSI: NY, HLN’s How It Really Happened with Hill Harper, and Showtime's award-winning series Homeland. This fall, Harper will begin his role as Dr. Marcus Andrews on the highly-anticipated new show, The Good Doctor, on ABC.

Harper is the author of four New York Times best-sellers and has earned seven NAACP Image Awards for his writing and acting. Hill is the author of three New York Times bestsellers: Letters to a Young Brother, (which was named “Best Book for Young Adults” by the American Library Association in 2007) Letters to a Young Sister, and The Conversation. Additionally, he has written Letters to an Incarcerated Brother and The Wealth Cure: Putting Money in its Place.  Harper founded The Manifest Your Destiny Foundation which is dedicated to empowering, encouraging, and inspiring underserved youth to succeed through mentorship, scholarship and grant programs. He also serves on the President’s Cancer Panel, having been appointed by President Obama in 2011.

Michael Buffer, Emcee

Buffer is world renowned for his tuxedo image and famous trademarked phrase “LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!TM” (“LGRTR”). He is one of the most recognized faces in the world of sports and entertainment today. Buffer’s enthusiastic and ‘adrenaline boosting’ winning attitude is sure to bring energy to the event.



Lonnie Ali, Co-Founder of the Muhammad Ali Center, widow of Muhammad Ali, and advocate for children’s rights and Parkinson’s disease research

Jamillah Ali-Joyce, daughter of Muhammad Ali and Illinois Secretary of State Employment Counselor in the City of Chicago

Mark Hogg, Founder and CEO of WaterStep, motivational speaker, and the 2013 Kentucky Muhammad Ali Humanitarian awardee

Allan Houston, Assistant General Manager of the New York Knicks, General Manager of the Westchester Knicks, and President of Allan Houston Enterprises

Donald Lassere, President and CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center

Kevin Martinez, Vice President of Corporate Outreach for ESPN

Geoff Thompson, Former 5-time world karate champion, sports administrator and politician, and Founder and Executive Chair of UK-based Youth Charter


The Six Core Principle Awardees (previously announced) are:

Gavin Armstrong, age 30, Toronto, Canada will be honored for his Confidence in advocating against hunger and malnutrition.

Mohammed Ashour, age 30, Austin, Texas will receive the Conviction Award. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aspire, a company that develops the most advanced insect farming technology in the world.

John-Son Oei, age 30, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia will receive the Dedication Award. He is the co-founder and CEO of EPIC, a company that aims to build relationships between the urban and rural divide through the activity of building homes for underprivileged Malaysian communities.

Iseult Ward, age 26, Dublin, Ireland will receive the Giving Award. She is the co-founder and CEO of the award-winning social enterprise FoodCloud.

Anoop Jain, age 30, Oakland, California will be honored for his Respect working on public health initiatives in India.

Hannah Taylor, age 21, Winnipeg, Canada will receive the Spirituality Award. At age 8, she founded The Ladybug Foundation, a charity that has raised millions of dollars and helped more than 65 homeless shelters and food banks across Canada.

In addition to Brown-Forman, this year’s Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards are also supported by: Horseshoe Southern Indiana, H. C. S. Foundation, Tandem PR & Marketing, Ashbourne Farms and River Bend Farm.

Tickets and Table Sponsors
Tickets to the awards can be purchased by September 8th through the Ali Center’s website or by contacting Kelly Watson at or 502.992.5338. For more information, visit

NOTE to Members of the Media:  The Muhammad Ali Center is now accepting media credential requests for this event. For more information and to fill out an online request, visit

About the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards

The Fifth Annual Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards, presented by Brown-Forman, will take place on September 23rd, 2017 at the Louisville Marriott Downtown 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


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