Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards Took Place November 12th at the Muhammad Ali Center in The Champ’s Hometown of Louisville, Kentucky

Eleven Awardees from Four Countries Receive Awards for Inspiring Unity, Compassion, Activism, and Risk-Taking

Awards Host was Grammy-Nominated Music Icon Kathy Sledge

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Nov. 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Eighth Annual Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards took place last night at the Muhammad Ali Center at 8:00pm eastern time at the Muhammad Ali Center in the Champ’s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Awardees included seven young adults, in the "30 years and under" category, each who received an award that mirrors one of Muhammad Ali's Six Core Principles (Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Respect, Giving, and Spirituality). Four individuals, took home humanitarian awards in the "seasoned awards" category, including Ina Bond; Dr. Richard Lapchick; Ann Curry; and Chef Edward Lee and Lindsey Ofcacek.

Kathy Sledge, Grammy nominated music icon and signature voice in Sister Sledge, served as host for the awards ceremony.

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.

The theme of this year’s awards was UNITY. Laura Douglas, Interim President and CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center said, “Unity creates the experience of cooperation; UNITY increases enthusiasm for the task at hand; UNITY makes the atmosphere empowering. UNITY ultimately creates a sense of belonging and increases well-being for all.”

The full list of awardees and award categories are below:

“Seasoned” Awardees

  • Ann Curry, award-winning journalist known for her persistent humanitarian reporting, was honored with the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Global Citizenship.
  • Ina Bond, Chair Emeritus of the Muhammad Ali Center Board of Directors, and the daughter of W. L. Lyons Brown, a member of the Louisville Sponsoring Group who supported Muhammad Ali during his early boxing career, received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Chef Edward Lee and Lindsay Ofcacek, co-founders of The LEE Initiative, a nonprofit that is dedicated to diversity and equality in the restaurant industry, received the Kentucky Humanitarian Award.
  • Dr. Richard Lapchick, human rights activist, pioneer for racial equality, and internationally recognized expert on sports and social issues, received the Humanitarian of the Year Award.

“Core Principle” Awardees:

Chelsea Miller & Nialah Edari, ages 24 and 25 (United States) Confidence Award
Sonita Alizadeh, age 25 (Afghanistan) Conviction Award
Christian Stephen, age 26 (England) Dedication Award
Yvette Ishimwe, age 23 (Rwanda) Giving Award
Clementine Jacoby, age 29 (United States) Respect Award
Darius Baxter, age 27 (United States) Spirituality Award

Learn more about the Six Core Principle Awardees and Presenters HERE.

The event was also livestreamed and will be available on the Ali Center’s website HERE.

Photos to be available on AP and Getty Images.

The Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards are made possible through the generous support of our Silver Sponsors, Brown Forman and the LADBible Group, as well as our Table Sponsors, and all of the individuals who have supported this event.


About the Muhammad Ali Center
The Muhammad Ali Center, a 501(c)3 corporation, was cofounded 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, racial and gender equity, and global citizenship. The Ali Center is formally associated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications, and in 2020, became one of the newest stops on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail. The Center’s headquarters also contains an award-winning museum experience. For more information, please visit


Jeanie Kahnke
Muhammad Ali Center
(502) 992-5301/ (502) 640-6077 mobile

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at