Muslim Organizations Raise Funds for Leadership Program Inspired by Muhammad Ali

Image: Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali attends the 2014 Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards at the Louisville Marriott Downtown on Sept. 27, 2014 in Louisville, United States.Stephen J. Cohen / Getty Images, file

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By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

A new fundraising effort to help empower the next generation of social justice leaders has been launched in memory of Muhammad Ali. The program is called the Generation Ali Global Citizenship Scholarships and was created by the organizers of the inaugural Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards in 2013. It is supported by several Muslim organizations across the country and supports Generation Ali, a project started by Ali to empower young people to find their voice and become leaders.

"I had the honor of working with the Generation Ali program a few years ago, identifying global youth leaders who exemplified Muhammad Ali's vision," Shahed Amanullah, co-founder and director of Affinis Labs and a former senior advisor at the US State Department, told NBC News. "This effort is a small token to ensure that future generations of youth continue to be inspired by Muhammad Ali and the example he set for the way humanity engages with each other."

Inspired by Ali and his six core principles — confidence, conviction, dedication, giving, respect, and spirituality — Generation Ali identifies youth leaders from around the world, regardless of faith or background, and brings them together to help them create change in their communities and the world through collaboration, partnership, engagement, and sharing.

Funds raised will go to the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky, earmarked for the Generation Ali project. The campaign has raised over $11,000 as of June 17 and will continue fundraising through July 5.

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