Muhammad Ali Scholar Application and Program Information for 2019-2021

Download the 2019-2021 Scholar application and program information (PDF)

About the Ali Scholar Program


The Ali Scholars Program, offered to full-time undergraduate University of Louisville students, is a unique 2-year experience combining training, research and service in the areas of violence prevention and peace building in an urban living context.  A special emphasis is placed on understanding and addressing the social conditions that impact those issues.

Through their work with the Muhammad Ali Institute, Ali Scholars develop expertise on a topic of their choice by participating in seminars with renowned practitioners, educators and activists. The Ali Scholars employ a practical solution-based approach to conduct research related to their “expert area.” Ali Scholars deepen their understanding about successful social justice projects and the impacts locally and globally, and gain hands-on experience in their “expert area” through service in the local community. Equipped with leadership training and organizing skills, the Ali Scholars provide service to the community by hosting on-campus events, furthering the work of the Ali Institute and Ali Center, and designing and implementing social change projects. A key component of the program is an international travel experience designed to explore social justice issues in a different cultural, political, social, and economic context. Program students are expected to emerge with values-based, equity-centered leadership skills so they may design, develop and implement projects impacting their home communities, and ultimately their nations and the world.

 The Ali Scholars progress through the program as a cohort, providing a sense of camaraderie and group identity, as well as a dynamic peer learning environment. In the first year, program staff, University faculty and local community organizations work together to immerse students in the foundational concepts through coursework, training sessions, seminars and a research project. There are two required one-credit courses in the Spring semester of each year. The students learn about community issues by meeting with local agency officials and hands-on service work in the city.

In the summer between their first and second program years, the students travel abroad for a Summer International Learning Journey to learn about social justice and peace building in a different social, economic, cultural and political reality.  In their second year, the Ali Scholars intensify the exploration of their expert area. They combine theory and practice when they finalize plans for and implement their community-based projects.




Ali Scholars Application Process


Your completed application, including recommendations, must be received by the Ali Institute no later than 5:00 pm on March 18, 2019. Applications may be submitted by mail if received by the deadline, by email to LaJa Hurt, or may be hand delivered to the Muhammad Ali Institute, Strickler Hall, Room 240,  University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, 40292.