SOURCE: Muhammad Ali Center

Muhammad Ali Center

September 13, 2016 08:00 ET

Fourth Annual Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards to Take Place in Louisville, Ky on September 17th

Awards to Pay Tribute to Muhammad Ali; Awardees, Presenters, Entertainers Announced; Fusion to Serve as Exclusive Media Partner

LOUISVILLE, KY--(Marketwired - September 13, 2016) - Philanthropist and businesswoman Cindy Hensley McCain will receive the prestigious Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Lifetime Achievement and Academy Award-winning actor and humanitarian Louis Gossett Jr. will be honored with the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Education at the Fourth Annual Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards on September 17th in Louisville, Kentucky. Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter and humanitarian Jon Secada will be honored with the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian of the Year Award. Tony Award-winning actress, singer and activist Sheryl Lee Ralph will receive the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Global Citizenship. John Rosenberg from Prestonburg, Ky, an attorney and founding director of the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky, will be presented the Muhammad Ali Kentucky Humanitarian Award. NBC News' and MSNBC's Craig Melvin will be the emcee and host for the evening.

The Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards celebrate the greatness of people from around the world who are making differences in their communities and beyond. Six young humanitarians, age 30 years or younger, will also be honored at an evening which celebrates greatness and shines a light on their innovative humanitarian work. Each of these young adults will receive an award that mirrors one of Muhammad Ali's six core principles -- confidence, conviction, dedication, giving, respect, and spirituality -- which aligns with their respective fields of work.

This year's awards will also serve as a tribute to the late, great Muhammad Ali, who passed away on June 3, 2016. Ali, who co-founded the Muhammad Ali Center with his wife Lonnie in November 2005, attended each of the previous year's Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards. Lonnie, will carry on the tradition of speaking and presenting some of this year's awards.

**Editor's Note
Photos of the awardees, presenters and host will be sent upon request.
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FUSION will serve as the exclusive media partner for the 2016 Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards. They will produce a six-part digital series about Muhammad Ali's life and legacy leading up to the 2016 Humanitarian Awards, profiles about all the honorees and their contributions, and a primetime television special. This series of reports will run across FUSION's TV, digital, social, and OTT platforms as well, the number one news and culture site for African Americans. This global exposure helps raise awareness of the Awards and also shines a spotlight on individual award recipients and the humanitarian work they do.

Awardees for the 2016 Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards are:

Cindy Hensley McCain, philanthropist and businesswoman, will receive the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Jon Secada, Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter, and philanthropist, will receive the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian of the Year Award.

Louis Gossett, Jr., Academy Award winning actor and humanitarian, will receive the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Education.

Sheryl Lee Ralph, Broadway, big screen, TV actress and philanthropist, will receive the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Global Citizenship.

John Rosenberg, founding director of the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky, will receive the 2016 Muhammad Ali Kentucky Humanitarian Award.

Craig Melvin, from NBC News and MSNBC, will emcee the awards.

For more information about these awardees and Craig Melvin, visit

The 2016 Thirty Years of Age or Younger Recipients of the Core Principle Awards are:

Josh Nesbit, Waterford, Virginia will receive the Confidence award. Josh is the co-founder and CEO of Medic Mobile, a nonprofit organization that builds mobile and web tools for community health workers, clinic staff, and families in the hardest-to-reach communities.

Shawana Shah, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan will receive the Conviction award. Shawana works to end gender-based violence in her native Pakistan and to provide women a platform to fight for their rights.

Curt Bowen, Boise, Idaho will receive the Dedication award. Curt is the executive director and co-founder of Semilla Nueva, a nonprofit that develops locally-led farmer education programs that increase the income, rebuild the soils, and improve the food security of Guatemala's rural poor.

Jakob Schillinger, Tuebingen, Germany will receive the Giving award. Jakob is the co-founder of OneDollarGlasses, which produces high-quality prescription eyeglasses for a cost of less than one dollar per pair.

Tina Hovsepian, Los Angeles, California will receive the Respect award. Tina is the founder and executive director of Cardborigami, a nonprofit that supports those who lost their homes due to poverty, natural disasters, or other crises.

Navonel Glick (Voni), Tel Aviv, Israel will receive the Spirituality award. Voni is the chief operating officer of IsraAID and previously served as its programs director, leading disaster-response missions across the world.

For more information about the Six Core Principle Awardees, please visit

This theme of "greatness" even extends to its award presenters and performers, all who have diverse backgrounds and their own unique personal passions for greatness.

This year's award presenters are:

  • Lonnie Ali, Vice Chair and co-founder of the Muhammad Ali Center
  • Rasheda Ali, author, speaker, spokesperson, Parkinson's Disease advocate, and Muhammad Ali's daughter
  • Dwight Howard, NBA player for the Atlanta Hawks
  • Kimberly Brooks, host and correspondent for Fusion Network
  • Amber Gell, rocket scientist from Lockheed Martin and NASA
  • Mayor Greg Fischer, Mayor of Metro Louisville, initiator of the city's annual "Give A Day" Week, and a Compassionate City advocate
  • Teddy Abrams, conductor for the Louisville Orchestra
  • Eli A. Wolff, co-founder of the Sport and Development Project at Brown University

The performance line-up includes:

  • Mali Music, Bystorm Entertainment/RCA Records singer/songwriter, Grammy-nominee
  • CJ Vanston, a Hollywood-based film composer, record producer, songwriter, keyboardist, and music director for Spinal Tap
  • Michael Fitzpatrick, a cello soloist who performed at the historic meeting of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Muhammad Ali
  • Teddy Abrams and friends, the conductor of the Louisville Orchestra
  • The Humanity Passport Project Greater Community Choir, founded by Ambassador Shabazz

Michael Fitzpatrick and CJ Vanston, as well as Teddy Abrams, will be performing new original works created for the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards and in honor of Muhammad Ali's legacy.


This year's Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards are supported by: YUM! Brands Foundation, Brown-Forman Corporation, LG&E and KU Energy, Horseshoe Southern Indiana, Harold C. Schott Foundation, Tandem PR & Marketing, Ashbourne Farms and River Bend Farm.

About the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards

The fourth annual Muhammad Ali Humanitarian awards will take place on September 17th, 2016 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.

Through impactful journalism and smart commentary, FUSION covers the stories that matter to the new, rising American mainstream. FUSION content is available to audiences across a broad range of platforms including cable television (channel listings),, various OTT providers and social media platforms. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. FUSION will be a part of the recently announced Fusion Media Group, a division of Univision Communications Inc.

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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