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Muhammad Ali Center to Participate in NCBMP’s Online Event: “Be Inspired Speaker Series: “A Night at the Museum”

To include stories of courage and resiliency during the coronavirus pandemic
From five museum and cultural centers around the country, all week long

(Alexandra, Virginia – May 8, 2020) – Donald Lassere, President and CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center, will participate in The National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals’ (NCBMP) “Be Inspired Speakers Series: A Night at the Museum” on Wednesday, May 20 at 6:00pm EDT.  Other world-renowned African American museums and cultural institutions, will be participating all week long from May 18-22, also at 6:00pm.  For more information, please visit To register, go to This online event is free.

The “Be Inspired Speaker Series: A Night at the Museum” is rooted in uplifting stories of resiliency in the African American experience. This first-of-its-kind, live series of webinars will introduce profiles of courage and resiliency with exhibits and engaging conversations from the following museums:

  • Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, Alabama)
  • Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (Kansas City, Missouri)
  • Muhammad Ali Center (Louisville, Kentucky)
  • National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Cincinnati, Ohio)
  • Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church (Montgomery, Alabama)

“We are deeply aware of the mental/financial effects of COVID-19 on the entire hospitality community, our families, and patrons.  The ‘Be Inspired’ series is one way to remind our communities of the power and tenacity we all embody, despite our current circumstances,” said Jason Dunn, NCBMP Board Chairman. National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals (NCBMP) is the preeminent organization for African American association executives, hospitality professionals and meeting planners in all aspects of the meeting planning profession. Its mission is to maximize a greater return on the meeting dollar investment for member organizations,  effect positive change in the hospitality industry as it relates to African Americans and our allies, and empower members to become a voice in the hospitality industry on issues that affect the African American community.

“The physical doors of the Institute may be closed right now, but we’re throwing open the doors to reaching a larger community than ever before with the assist of technology. It is a key part of our mission to remember the legacies of those who paved the way for us to maintain our resilience in the present and strength for future generations,” said Joi Brown, BCRI Marketing Manager. The African American community makes up a large percentage of the changing demographic trends in the U.S. In fact, Nielsen’s “2019 Diverse Intelligence Series” reports that African Americans represent $1.3 trillion in spending power and studies show that the majority of new U.S. travelers will be people of color and varying nationalities.  Without a doubt, we will ultimately lead the industry in its recovery.

“At a time when the hospitality industry and meeting planners may be feeling deflated, this is a time to believe in yourself more than ever,” said Donald Lassere, President and CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center.   He continued, saying that “Muhammad Ali once said, ‘It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.’ I know that the content of this series will leave viewers inspired and empowered.”

“During this time of incredible upheaval and uncertainty more people are starting to understand that our world is much smaller, and much more connected than some may have realized, so we must take positive actions based on our principles of Courage, Cooperation and Perseverance,” said Woody Keown, NURFC President & COO.

“I’m honored to be part of this group of dynamic cultural institution leaders who are using our collective stories and voices to provide hope and inspiration at this critical time uncertainty,” said NLBM President, Bob Kendrick.

“Many people carry prejudice and fear. Yet, we all benefit when we open our hearts to respect and appreciate one another’s differences,” said Wanda Howard Battle, Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church Tour Director.

The National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals (NCBMP), founded in 1983, is a non-profit organization dedicated primarily to the training needs of African American hospitality professionals. Since its founding, NCBMP has made a significant impact in the hospitality community by identifying the sizable spending power and impact of African American’s and African American organizations in the tourism industry