Muhammad Ali, Humanitarian

Muhammad Ali spent much of his adult life advocating for humanitarian causes. A man of strong conviction, Ali used his fame to advocate for peace and justice. Louisville has played a major role in those efforts, especially through the downtown Muhammad Ali Center.


Muhammad Ali Center

What: The $80 million museum and cultural center located in Ali’s hometown honors his life and legacy. It was founded by Lonnie and Muhammad Ali and opened in November 2005.

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Where: 144 N. Sixth St.

Notes:  The 93,000-square-foot facility is the focal point of celebrations of Ali’s life and accomplishments. It features 24,000 square feet of award-winning exhibits —boxing memorabilia, interactive features, films and award-winning exhibits that promote Ali’s six core principles (Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect and Spirituality) in ways that inspire personal and global awareness.

The center also features rotating exhibits, a retail store, classrooms, theaters and a library and archives. The fountain in the plaza of the Center became an impromptu memorial to Ali last week when citizens began showing up there to place flowers and bring cards.

For more information: 502.584.9254. Media contact: Jeanie Kahnke, 502.992.5301

Hours: The Ali Center is open all week, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free during the week of Ali’s funeral, though a $5 donation is suggested.


Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards

What: The awards were created in 2013 as a way to publicly recognize and celebrate the greatness of people from around the world. An annual gala to announce and honor winners raises funds for the center’s continued operations.

Where: The 2016 event will take place on September 17, 2016 at the Marriott Louisville Downtown in Louisville, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Notes: The awards honor people, young and old, who’ve made significant contributions toward securing peace, social justice, human rights, and/or social capital in their communities and on a global basis. Proceeds from the event support educational initiatives, community programming, and on-site exhibitions.

For more information:


Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Justice

What: U of L’s Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Justice includes the Ali Scholars program, a unique two-year experience combining training, research and service in the areas of violence prevention, social justice and peacemaking in an urban living context.

Where: Program offices are housed in the Ekstrom Library, 2301 S. Third Street, at the University of Louisville’s Belknap Campus.

Notes: The Ali Institute and scholars program grew out of Ali’s vision for the Muhammad Ali Center and the need for a research and academic component. It develops initiatives that support human dignity, foster responsible citizenship, further peace and justice and address the impact of violence in local, state, national, and international arenas. The Ali Institute has a special concern for young people living with violence in urban areas

For more information: Contact: Enid Trucios-Haynes, 502.594.1040


Humanitarian awards received by Muhammad Ali include:

Arthur Ashe Courage Award
The Presidential Citizens Medal
The Presidential Medal of Freedom.
United Nations Messenger of Peace
Amnesty International’s Lifetime Achievement Award.


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