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Congressman John Yarmuth

Representing the 3rd Congressional District of Kentucky

Yarmuth Introduces Muhammad Ali Legacy Act

January 18, 2012
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-03) introduced the Muhammad Ali Legacy Act, which builds upon Ali’s humanitarian work by establishing a federal grant program to promote global respect, understanding, and communication – values that Ali has advocated for and realized throughout his life.

“Muhammad Ali is a champion in every sense of the word,” Yarmuth said. “He is a champion for civil rights, equal rights, and human rights. Through his humanitarian work and that of the Ali Center, Muhammad promotes peace and justice. He reminds us that compassion and outreach are part of our obligation as global citizens, and I want to make sure that message endures.”

Yarmuth also spoke about the bill on the House floor this afternoon. (Watch the video.)

Specifically, the grant supports activities:

- Preparing potential leaders to make a profound contribution to global society with programming, such as peace building, conflict resolution, violence prevention, character education, and education about world cultures, religions, and languages;

- Providing a positive, productive path for young people to combat the pull of radicalism, terrorist networks, and organized crime;

- Using technology and the Internet to empower people around the world – including adults, young people, educators, and civic, community, religious, and corporate leaders – to discuss common interests and concerns, share information, and engage in cross-cultural learning; and

- Creating a global gathering place – both online and in person – for negotiation and mediation.

The bill authorizes $5 million a year for the grant program, which would be administered by the State Department and fund U.S. nonprofit organizations that work to promote these values.

In 2005, Ali established the Muhammad Ali Center in his hometown of Louisville. The center is a cultural attraction and an international education hub whose work is based on the core values by which Ali lives: respect, confidence, conviction, dedication, giving, and spirituality.