Michael J. Fox, Michael Lang, Mark Tewksbury, Amy Hehre, Dr. Mark Lynn, Among Honorees for Seventh Annual Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards on September 12th ;
30 Years and Under Awardees Hail from Six Countries;
Host for the Evening is Negin Farsad, Writer, Director, Actor, Social Justice Comedian; Other Presenters also Announced
Michael J. Fox, award-winning actor, author, and longtime Parkinson’s disease advocate who also established the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, will be honored with the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Courage at the annual Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards, to take place on September 12th at the Louisville Marriott Downtown. Debi Brooks, Co-Founder and Executive Vice Chairman of the Foundation will be receiving the award on Michael’s behalf. Music icon Michael Lang, best known for co-creating and producing the original 1969 Woodstock Festival, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for using music to spread a universal message of unity and peace. Olympic swimming gold medalist Mark Tewksbury, will receive the Gender Equality Award for his ongoing fight for justice, fair play, and equal rights. Amy Hehre, CEO and Founder of OVI Children’s Hospital in Kenya,will receive the Global Citizenship Award for providing orphans across Sub-Saharan Africa with medical assistance and other essential support. Dr. Mark Lynn, owner and operator of over 90 Visionworks in the region and President of Dr. Mark Lynn &Associates, will receive the Muhammad Ali Kentucky Humanitarian Award for his philanthropy, civic engagement, and ongoing support of his community. Negin Farsad, writer, director, actor,and social justice comedian will be the Host for the awards.
This year’s theme will be Courage.
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.
Donald Lassere, President and CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center said, “Each of this year’s awardees are amazing and purpose driven individuals who inspire us with their remarkable accomplishments,abilities, and courage to affect lasting change. It is our hope that by using Muhammad Ali’s principles as the backdrop for these awards, we can help propel action by others to solve real world problems and to also shine a spotlight on Muhammad’s humanitarian legacy.”
In addition to the above “seasoned”awardees, six young people, 30 years 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:
Waad Al-Kateab, age 28 (Home country: Syria)
Conviction Award for her courageous documentation from inside Aleppo which drew international attention to the horrors of the Syrian city under siege. Her film, entitled For Sama (her daughter’s name), is now an award-winning documentary.
Shadrack Frimpong, age 27 (Home Country: Ghana)
Dedication Award for establishing Cocoa360, a nonprofit organization who mission is to facilitate access to education and improve health care through cocoa farming revenue. In less than three years, the organization has cared for 3,000 patients and currently educates 120 young girls.
Jared Hiakita,age 30 (Home Country: New Zealand)
Spirituality Award for his work in bettering the environment by delivering waste minimization education and training to the indigenous people of Aotearoa, New Zealand. He also co-founded Project Whare Paku, which helps people of the Far North reestablish a sense of ownership of their sovereign land by building tiny houses.
Majd Almashharawi, age 25 (Home Country: Gaza)
Confidence Award for solving a persistent local challenge of helping to re-construct buildings destroyed by war in an area where many construction materials don’t make it over the border. She invented a new process for making a strong, low-cost brick from ashes. Majd also created a model for a new women-led business.
Laura Ulloa, age 29 (Home Country: Colombia)
Respect Award for helping former guerrillas in her country get reintegrated into society. Laura was kidnapped and held captive by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) when she was just 11 years old. Two years later, her school bus was hijacked and Laura was take as the sole hostage. Laura works with many agencies, organizations, and projects that are changing lives.
Michele Madison, age 24 (Home Country: USA)
Giving Award for founding “Farming The Future” in Tallahassee, Florida. The organization provides quality food with an interactive S.T.E.M. learning experience for community members and schools through aquaponics-based production and 21st-Century farming. Her organization also contracts through the Florida government to build greenhouses and aquaponics systems at juvenile detention facilities.
Award presenters are:
Lonnie Ali, Co-Founder of the Muhammad Ali Center and wife of Muhammad Ali
Anwar Khan, President of Islamic Relief, USA
Cordelia Cranshaw, Miss District of Columbia, USA, former foster youth, and foster system advocate
Brenda Berkman, retired Captain, New York City Fire Department
Gwen Mooney, President and CEO of Cave Hill Cemetery, Muhammad Ali’s final resting place
Tickets to the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards are available until September 5th, and can be purchased HERE:
For “Days of Greatness” events surrounding the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards, visit www.alicenter.org.
Notes to Media:
For credential requests: submit your information HERE:
Photos of awardees and presenters are available upon request.
This year’s Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards are supported by: Brown-Forman, Horseshoe Southern Indiana, Caesars Foundation,ESPN, Inc., Tandem Public Relations, Ashbourne Farms and River Bend Farm.