Ilina to attend the social change forum hosted by the Muhammad Ali center

The Muhammad Ali Center Athletes and Social Change Forum will take place on July 14-15, 2022 as an online virtual conference. This year’s forum will focus on Creative Expression: Art, Athletics, and Activism. The Muhammad Ali Center Athletes and Social Change Forum is an annual, national program that convenes athletes, scholars, practitioners, policymakers and advocates who are all working to advance the realm of sport and social change through the practice of Muhammad Ali’s Six Core Principles:  Respect, Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Spirituality and Giving.

The goal of this year’s forum is to bring together thought leaders from diverse areas of sport and art to answer these questions; How does creative expression influence the athletes and social change movement? What are athletes, advocates, and leaders doing to utilize creative expression—such as photography, music, film, short stories, poetry, drawing/painting, and sculpture—to raise their voices for human rights in sport and in society. How can creative expression change the narrative to bring more awareness to athlete activism and social change?

Athletes and Social Change is a collaboration between the Muhammad Ali Center and the Power of Sport Lab.

“We are in an important and transformational time for activism and social change in and through sport,” said Eli Wolff, director of the Power of Sport Lab. “Art, music, poetry, film and all forms of creative expression have a critical role that we need to continue to amplify and elevate in our collective work. “Muhammad Ali was an artist and he recognized the power at the intersection of art, athletics and activism that leaves a legacy that we can foster and build upon.”

This year’s Athletes and Social Change will consist of six online sessions over two days, including Ali the Artist, and Protest: Art, Sport, and Education.

For full agenda

“The power of art is that it can open us up to deeper questioning, reflecting, and connecting across different groups and ideas—laying groundwork for building meaningful coalitions and generative, collaborative platforms for social change efforts,” said Mel Day, interdisciplinary artist, educator, and co-founder of the Wall of Song Project. “Muhammad Ali Center’s Forum on Creative Expression is an important opportunity to explore the combined power and expressive possibilities of art-thinking, athletics, and athlete activism to help work toward the future we need.”

“Creative expression and sport are the backbones of our society,” said Chris Cardoza, photographer, filmmaker, and founder of Doza Visuals. “So when combined they create one of the most powerful tools for human rights activism and social change. Looking back through history sports greatest moments are not the wins and losses, it’s the moments that changed the world outside of a game. We remember those moments best because art and creativity keep the memories alive.”

Inspired by the Forum theme, the Hip Hop Loves Foundation will release “Pinnacle” an album in honor of Muhammad Ali’s core principles. René John-Sandy II, Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Hip Hop Loves Foundation said, “‘ Pinnacle’ is a really special project for all to be a part of. It is a truly humbling experience to be able to create a project that pays homage to such a phenomenal human being, Muhammad Ali. His inspiration and impact on millions of people around the world surpasses the accomplishments he achieved in the boxing ring.”

The full list of presenters and moderators is: Ashleigh Hazley, Lorenzo Rowan, Marcus Jones, Dr. Mary Hums, Vanessa Chakour, Danielle Frost, Ilina Arsova,  Dr. Courtney Flowers, Chris Cardoza, Keith Jones, Byron Hurt, Dr. Yannick Kluch, Mel Day,  Akilah Carter-Francique, Rosy Petri, Antonio Arrendel, Dave Kay, Stephen Furlow-Munn, Moises Burgess, Rashaun Dillard, Maria Molteni, Eli Wolff, Rene John Sandy, Raquel Delgado, Majestic Da God, Xidus Pain, Maya Jupiter, Mirrah, Sirhighlight, Dumi Right, Erin Herbert, Rigo 23, and M’Dee.

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