Ali Center is open Wednesdays through Sundays, 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm.

Muhammad Ali to Serve as Symbol for International Mentoring Day on January 17, 2016 as Part of National Mentoring Month

International Mentoring Day to Highlight and Celebrate the Power of Mentoring as Core to Development and Social Change

Initiative to Take Place on Muhammad Ali’s 74th Birthday

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (December 17, 2015) — From apprenticeships to elder circles, intentional relationships have always been important in generational knowledge transfer for a society. Many cultures share this tradition. Formal and informal mentors play an important and often overlooked role in society. At a time when many people are looking for direction, International Mentoring Day on January 17, 2016 will celebrate the role of mentor, by asking the world to share their ideas around mentorship and create space for an international conversation.

The international power of mentoring will be recognized and celebrated throughout the month of January, and showcased on Muhammad Ali’s birthday on January 17, and using as inspiration, his six core principles of confidence, conviction, dedication, respect, giving, and spirituality.

The goals of this special day are to highlight the international power of mentorship in connection with National Mentoring Month to foster a global understanding, and build a broad-based mentoring momentum, networks and movement.

“Muhammad has been a mentor to me, his family, friends, fans, and countless numbers of individuals around the world for decades,” said Lonnie Ali. “Mentors are gifts to the world. They encourage, motivate, reinforce, and guide others to reach individual greatness. Muhammad and I are both proud that International Mentoring Day will be launched in Muhammad’s name on his 74th birthday and hope that on this day, and for years in the future, ordinary people will take a first step to mentoring someone who needs support, direction, and somebody to believe in them. Mentors have the power to change lives.”

In the lead up to January 17, individuals and organizations can share, through social media, photos, video, messages and stories to reflect on the real life power of mentoring and in particular: (1) what mentoring means to you in real life; and (2) how you define and describe mentoring from real life experience.

The dialogue will be captured online through @mentoringday and #NationalMentoringMonth and #MentorIRL and on this landing page:

“It is so inspiring and invigorating to see National Mentoring Month, created nearly 15 years ago, expand globally to elevate and celebrate our common humanity and the power of relationship in our collective quest for a thriving global community,” said David Shapiro, CEO, National Mentoring Partnership. “We are so appreciative of our partners and citizens across the world demonstrating the immense impact brought through connection, and look forward to hearing their inspirational stories.”

Eli Wolff of the Mentoring for Change project and of Brown University and the Institute for Human Centered Design, serving as co-coordinator of the initiative says, “We are thrilled for this platform to recognize and celebrate the power of mentoring globally. How can mentoring contribute to the human condition, to youth development, to social change worldwide? We are so fortunate to have Lonnie and Muhammad Ali and the Ali Center serving as a dynamic, innovative and inspiring symbols and ambassadors of the power of mentoring in our world.”

Jeanie Kahnke, spokesperson for the Muhammad Ali Center says, “The Ali Center is proud to be collaborating on a day that will raise awareness of Muhammad’s influence on the world as a mentor. We invite mentors and mentees to visit the Center in Louisville, Kentucky on the 17th to mark this historic day and to show commitment to this cause. Special rates of $5 for mentors and free admission for mentees will apply.”

“Mentorship allows individuals and societies to share some of the most positive relationships they have,” says Malia Lazu of Epicenter Community, a global partner in co-coordinating International Mentoring Day. “We have an incredible global advisory team, and we want to foster a collaborative approach to encourage diverse international networks to come together and celebrate a positive aspect of our humanity. All individuals and organizations worldwide are encouraged to join in this international effort to recognize and celebrate the power of mentoring.”

About MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership

MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership is the unifying champion for quality youth mentoring in the United States. MENTOR’s mission is to close the “mentoring gap” and ensure our nation’s young people have the support they need through quality mentoring relationships to succeed at home, school, and ultimately, work. To achieve this, MENTOR collaborates with its network of affiliate Mentoring Partnerships and works to drive the investment of time and money into high impact mentoring programs and advance quality mentoring through the development and delivery of standards, cutting-edge research and state-of-the-art tools.  Connect with MENTOR on Twitter and Facebook.

Digital Mentor_Logo



Jennifer Merrill
National Mentoring Partnership
(617) 303-4612

Jeanie Kahnke
Muhammad Ali Center
(502) 992-5301

Becky Morris
Muhammad Ali Center
(502) 992-5334

Malia Lazu
Epicenter Community
(617) 308-8265


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