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The Muhammad Ali Center is proud to announce its upcoming Daughters of Greatness speaker, Doris Kearns Goodwin. Goodwin, a world-renowned presidential historian, public speaker and Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times #1 Best-Selling author, will speak at the Center on Friday, December 7th. The event will begin with a hot breakfast at 8:30 a.m. and the program will follow from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Throughout the year, the Daughters of Greatness breakfast series invites prominent women engaged in social philanthropy, activism, and pursuits of justice to share their stories with the Louisville community. The Daughters of Greatness series provides a place for dialogue and discussion on current issues of justice, community engagement, and social movements within the Louisville area and beyond.

Ms. Goodwin will also appear at the Kentucky Author Forum on Thursday, December 6th at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts at 6pm and will be interviewed by Scott Berg, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of five bestselling biographies.

Goodwin is known for her highly regarded studies of American presidents. Her career as a presidential historian and author was inspired when as a 24-year-old graduate student at Harvard she was selected to join the White House Fellows, one of America’s most prestigious programs for leadership and public service.

A meeting with Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967 resulted in Goodwin’s first book, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream, which will be re-released in spring 2019. Her second book, The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, was a best-seller. Following the release of No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II, Goodwin published a memoir detailing her youth in Brooklyn. She returned to presidential literature thereafter, releasing Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln in 2005.  In 2013, she wrote the critically acclaimed and The New York Times bestselling The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism (November 2013).

In her seventh book, Leadership in Turbulent Times (published on September 18, 2018 by Simon & Schuster), is the culmination of her five-decade career of studying the American presidents. Goodwin draws upon four of the presidents she has studied most closely—Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson (in civil rights)—to show how they first recognized leadership qualities within themselves, and were recognized by others as leaders.

Well known for her appearances and commentary on television, Goodwin is seen frequently on all the major television and cable networks and shows including Meet the Press and The Late Show with Colbert Report. Most recently she played herself as a teacher to Lisa Simpson on The Simpsons and a historian on American Horror Story.

Goodwin graduated magna cum laude from Colby College. She earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Government from Harvard University, where she taught Government, including a course on the American Presidency.

Among her many honors and awards, Goodwin was awarded the Charles Frankel Prize, given by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Sarah Josepha Hale Medal, the New England Book Award, as well as the Carl Sandburg Literary Award.

Goodwin lives in Concord, Massachusetts. She was the first woman to enter the Boston Red Sox locker room, and is a devoted fan of the World Series-winning team.

Seating is limited. Tickets are $20 for Ali Center members, $25 for non-members, $15 for students. Tables of 8 and 10 are also available.

Reservations must be made in advance by clicking here or by contacting Erin Herbert at

For more information or to purchase tickets for the Kentucky Author Forum, please visit

The Muhammad Ali Center today announced it has received a $100,000 donation from Islamic Relief USA in support of Muhammad Ali’s legacy. The donation will fund the Ali Center’s current temporary exhibit, America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far, which is on display at the Center through December 30th.

“The Muhammad Ali Center is infinitely grateful for this generous gift to sponsor perhaps the Center’s most significant temporary exhibit to date,” said Donald Lassere, president & CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center. “Being affiliated with Islamic Relief USA, an organization that provides relief and development resources regardless of the recipients’ gender, race, or religion, is a natural fit for the Center’s mission and a tribute to Muhammad’s legacy. Having the ability to announce this donation on the date of the Ali Center’s 13th anniversary makes it even more meaningful.”

The family-friendly interactive exhibit explores the diversity of Muslim cultures in our community, country and the world. The innovative hands-on exhibit, and specially designed programming, showcases the cultural expressions of various Muslim communities around the world through experiences with art, architecture, travel, trade, design and more.

The America to Zanzibar exhibit is a timely and educational exhibit for visitors during a period in the country’s history when there is a growing need to explore, understand and respect cultural diversity.

Said Anwar Khan, president of Islamic Relief USA, “In addition to being one of the greatest American Muslims of all time, Muhammad Ali serves as a strong example for people around the world to follow. He famously said that service is the rent you pay for your room on this earth. Muhammad Ali is still paying it, even though he’s physically no longer with us. He is uniting people around the world, serving as a model of integrity whose actions are reflective of many of Islamic Relief USA’s values, including social justice, compassion, and excellence. He stood up for what he believed in, especially when it wasn’t popular. Today’s contribution (of $100,000) will help ensure current and future generations continue to learn about the accomplishments of this great man whenever they visit this center.”

The work Islamic Relief USA does, including their efforts to empower all individuals and assure them a voice in the world, also makes IRUSA a valuable resource to the Louisville community.

Said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, “America to Zanzibar:  Muslim Cultures Near and Far is a fantastic exhibit that helps break down stereotypes and helps people of all faiths and backgrounds better recognize the human connections that unite us all. My thanks to the Muhammad Ali Center and  Islamic Relief USA for their partnership and for providing the people of Louisville the chance to experience this tremendous learning opportunity.”

The Muhammad Ali Center will host a screening of the new documentary “Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes” on Thursday, November 1st at 5:30 p.m. in the Center’s auditorium. Light refreshments will be available at 5:30 p.m. and the film begins at 6:00 p.m. This is the first screening of the film in Louisville, following its premiere at South by Southwest Film Festival this past spring.

The documentary follows the life and times of Muhammad Ali shown through the lens of his numerous appearances on The Dick Cavett Show. The film features new interviews with Dick Cavett, Rev. Al Sharpton, and Larry Merchant, as well as archival material from the Cavett Show. Following the film, there will be a discussion with producer/director Robert Bader and a special appearance by Dick Cavett.

Formerly a stand-up comedian and Tonight Show writer, Dick Cavett was given his own daily talk show in the spring of 1968. The first show he taped featured the former Heavyweight Champion of the World. Muhammad Ali would appear on Cavett’s shows a total of fourteen times in the coming years. Ali and Cavett’s friendship spanned more than fifty years.

Among other individuals, the film features interviews with Cavett, Thomas Hauser, Rev. Al Sharpton, and Juan Williams, as well as archival material from the Cavett Show. This is more than a sports documentary; the film delves into political and social matters that remain relevant today.

“Muhammad and Mr. Cavett’s 48-year friendship played out publicly on late night television in the late 1960s, but it grew privately off screen,” said Lonnie Ali, co-founder of the Muhammad Ali Center. “Both men admired and respected one another for their mutual intellect, humor, and curiosity about people.”

“Anyone who watched The Dick Cavett Show will remember the magic of Muhammad’s appearances on the program,” said Donald Lassere, President and CEO of the Ali Center, “especially the frank discussions they had about politics and society.  We are honored to show this film and to have Dick sitting in the audience, here at the Muhammad Ali Center.”

Doors open at 5:30pm. Limited seating available. $15 admission to the event. Tickets must be purchased online at

For additional info about the film and to view the trailer:

“Stories of Ali,” a brand new lecture program of the Muhammad Ali Center will bring its Oral History Project to life through a series of live recorded programs.  Each event will focus on a specific topic of Muhammad’s life, featuring two or three persons knowledgeable about the Muhammad Ali-specific theme to participate in a public oral history forum facilitated by the Center’s Collections Department.

The inaugural program, “Ali and the Nation”, will be on Friday, March 30th from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Ali Center. It is free and open to the public.

“Stories of Ali: Ali and the Nation” will present two approaches and understandings of the Nation of Islam: to explore Ali’s early religious conversion and his choice to devote much of his life to his new faith. The two interviewees are:

Dr. Brandon McCormack, professor of Pan-African Studies at the University of Louisville, will offer an educational and historical perspective.

Donald Lassere, president and CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center, grew up on the South Side of Chicago and has memories of the Nation of Islam selling bean pies and serving as protectors. Through his role at the Center, Donald will offer a unique perspective of the Louisville Lip. His stories will be of a personal nature, based on memories, and professional knowledge.

The Muhammad Ali Center’s Oral History Project is an ongoing initiative created to utilize the practice of oral history to document the life and legacy of Muhammad Ali. More information about the Project is available here.

The Muhammad Ali Center’s fifth annual international photography contest and exhibition, Shining a Light, opens to the public on March 8th, International Women’s Day. The theme of this year’s exhibition, Experiences of Refugee Women, illustrates the innumerable issues of rights and justice that these women face every day through a prolific look at their lives before and after resettlement. The exhibit features images of women from ten refugee groups: Rohingya, Syrian, Kurdish, Sarhawi, Ahmadiyyan, Afghan, Bhutanese, Iraqi, Congolese, and Somali.

Informed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Women’s Refugee Commission, the photographic submissions were asked to depict one or more of the following issues as they pertain to Refugee Women’s lived experiences:

  1. Gender-Based Violence
  2. Livelihoods
  3. Education
  4. Rights and Justice
  5. Sexual and Reproductive Health

The Center corroborated with Kentucky Refugee Ministries (KRM) on the text for this exhibit to ensure that the information disseminated is accurate and effective. Inspired by Muhammad Ali’s core principles, Respect & Giving, the Center’s programming related to Global Citizenship aims to inspire to act locally and to think and behave globally. Visitors will learn how they can support refugee women, like those featured in the exhibit, in Louisville and on a global scale.

Shining a Light, featuring 35 photos, will be on display at the Ali Center from March 8 to June 24, 2018. The cost of the exhibit is included in regular admission pricing.

The Center received 75 entries from 14 countries. The photos were judged by a panel entirely made up of women in order to create a unique perspective for the exhibit.

Top entries include: “Rohingya Refugee Exodus” by KM Asad, Bangladesh; “She Never Cry” by Afriadi Hikmal, Indonesia; “An Innocent Smile of Rohingya Girl” by Sohel Parvez Hague, Bangladesh.

The Muhammad Ali Center will be closed to visitors until Tuesday, March 6th, due to the Ohio River’s historic flooding.

Rising water levels within the city-owned parking garage and elevator pits have forced the Ali Center to shut down power to its elevators. Once the flooding recedes, the Ali Center will need adequate time to clean and evaluate the safety and integrity of the elevators. There is no reported damage to the Ali Center at this time.

Donald Lassere, President and CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center, said, “The safety of the Ali Center’s visitors and employees is of the utmost importance to us, so we appreciate the public’s understanding and patience as we continue to monitor the effects that Ohio River flooding is having on our facility and the PARC garage.”

Visit for updates and information about the modified hours of operation.

America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far opens to the public at the Muhammad Ali Center on Friday, May 25th. The family-friendly interactive exhibit, which runs through December 30th, explores the diversity of Muslim cultures in our community, country and the world. The innovative hands-on exhibit, and specially designed programming, will showcase the cultural expressions of various Muslim communities around the world through experiences with art, architecture, travel, trade, design and more. America to Zanzibar will be the largest and longest running exhibit the Ali Center has ever had in its twelve-year history.

America to Zanzibar was developed by the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and comes to the Center after a two year stay in New York City.

The “American Home” area within the exhibit will feature Muhammad Ali’s artifacts from the Center’s collection. These items, donated or loaned to the Center’s collection, have never been displayed before. Ali is arguably one of the most famous Muslims in the world, and the items will reflect his sport, humanitarianism and religion.

“The Ali Center is proud to be one of the first museums in the country to exhibit the highly lauded America to Zanzibar exhibit,” said Donald Lassere, President and CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center. “We are at a time in history when there is a growing need to explore, understand, and respect our cultural diversity. America to Zanzibar does this is a way that exposes visitors—especially young ones—to the arts and everyday activities of the Islamic culture in an engaging and thoughtful way.”

America to Zanzibar, designed for children ages 2-10 and their families, but enjoyed by all ages, consists of five major sections: a Global Marketplace, and exhibition areas that display Trade Routes, a Courtyard space, Architecture and an American Home area.

The Global Marketplace features stalls from around the world brimming with sounds, smells and goods, where children can pretend to buy and sell spices from Egypt, ceramics from Turkey and rugs from Morocco. They can also weigh their fresh catch at the Zanzibari fish market, smell Indonesian fruits, serve Tajik tea, and design outfits inspired by the West African tailors.

Visitors learn about the exchange of culture across continents and centuries in the Trade Routes area. Children can climb aboard a replica of a multi-level Indian Ocean dhow (boat) and experiment with navigation techniques, travel to various ports, learn to bargain, and unload goods from around the world. Below deck, they can experience a multisensory exploration of the dhow’s cargo. Children can also decorate a Pakistani truck, then hop in the cab and embark on a pretend trip through the Western Himalayas. They can also climb on top of a life-size camel and journey across the desert.

The Architecture area virtually transports visitors into a series of magnificent, international mosque architectural styles. Breathtaking panoramic images are projected onto a 21-foot curved screen and explore the wide range of aesthetic styles from Asia to Africa and to America. Visitors can also try their hand at drafting their own structures, complete with domes and arches, while gaining insight into architectural traditions from around the Muslim world.

The Courtyard features warm light flooding through a lattice roof. Visitors can explore key elements of design, water and geometric patterns that are central to a traditional Muslim courtyard. At a central fountain, visitors can sample verses from renowned Muslim poets and share how they would make the world a better place–one drop at a time. Children are also encouraged to make music with digital instruments, and compete in a guessing game with authentic objects that illustrate the significance of geometric patterns in Muslim cultures.

The American Home area is a contemporary living room filled with objects donated by American Muslims. Visitors explore the wide variety of American Muslims’ stories through their unique objects, clothing, art and books. They can also learn to write “My name is…” in 21 of the languages spoken by American Muslims, view artistic works by emerging American Muslim artists, and follow the history of Muslims in the U.S. through a visual timeline. As mentioned earlier, Muhammad Ali’s personal items from the Ali Center’s collection will also be on display.

The Ali Center will also produce programming in tandem with the exhibit. More information will follow in the future.