2019-2021 Muhammad Ali Scholars




Christabel Kusi Appiah

Portrait of Christabel Kusi Appiah

Degree: Public Health Major, University of Louisville-in progress

Focus Topic: Interceding Child Trafficking Through Marriage with Education and Healthcare

Tya Cook

Tya Cook

Degree: BS Public Health, University of Louisville

Occupation: Youth Intern, Seven Counties

"I wanted to become a Muhammad Ali Scholar because him and I shared many values, but it was his achievement of inner peace that encouraged me to apply. As it is something I am actively seeking and I know being in this program can help me find it, in similar ways Muhammad Ali found his. Similarly to Ali I want to create social change through my career. I would like to be an OB/GYN and create a safe place for women of color to be heard and taken serious." 

Focus Topic: The Adverse Effect of COVID-19 on Black Maternal Healthcare

Mariyamo Issa

Portrait of Mariyamo Issa

Degree:Exercise Science and Psychology Double Major, University of Louisville

"I wanted to be become a Muhammad Ali Scholar because I saw this as an opportunity to learn more about the man who is known as the greatest in history, and to grow out of my confined shell to be the scholar  know I can be. To me the Muhammad Ali program is a program that allows a regular student like me  to expand their capabilities to their highest potential and be a leader. In the future I hope that being a Muhammad Ali Scholar will give me the courage to speak up about the injustice not only in our communities, but around the world as well. I hope to be the change that will give our younger generations hope in what lies ahead."

Focus Topic: The Marginalization of Black Women and its Effect on Self-Perception

Jadyn Langley

Portrait of Jadyn Langley

Degree: BS Social Work; MSW Mental Health-in progress, University of Louisville, 

"I wanted to become a Muhammad Ali Scholar because it would give me both the opportunity to grow and make an impact. It also will help build a foundation for what I want to do in the future. 

The role I play in social change is becoming educated on issues and then sharing what I learned with others." 

Focus Topic: Understanding Difference Impact of COVID-19 on Public vs Private Schools in the K-12 System

Doneah Marshall

Portrait of Doneah Marshall

Degree: BA Pan-African Studies, University of Louisville 

Occupation: Administrative Support Specialist, Place of Promise Initiative 

"Muhammad Ali’s time came before mine but our circumstances, growing up Black and poor in Louisville’s West End; being raised in the church and being encouraged to find our strength through God, are all too similar. For this reason, along with seeing how successful Ali became in making international social change, I was encouraged to become an Ali scholar. Like Ali, I hope to spread love and hope with the promotion of peace and equity. Along the way, I hope to develop a more in-depth understanding of the themes that defined Ali’s legacy: confidence, conviction, dedication, giving, respect, and spirituality. As I progress throughout the Ali program, I hope to establish a thoroughly active role in social change. In doing so, I plan to make my push for peace and my strive towards equity for all as natural to me as my desire to obtain them for myself."  

Focus Topic: Prison Reform for Incarcerated Women

Coliwe Mhlanga

Portrait of Coliwe Mhlanga

Degree: Marketing Major, University of Louisville-in progress

"I wanted to be a Muhammad Ali scholar because I want to grow as a servant leader and fighter for equity and justice. I want to become aware and invested in the Louisville community that I now call home. I strive to put the work and initiative into advocating for the issues that I recognize around me. I also want to be in an environment that recognizes the power and passion deeply ingrained in the young people of this generation.

The role I want to play in making social change is using my opportunities and resources to uplift and fight for those around me. I will strive and advocate for human dignity and liberation. Through dedication and conviction I will use my voice and experiences to to make my community a better place to live and grow. I will turn up the volume on the unheard and pull back the blinds of the unseen." 

Focus Topic: Environmental justice for Low-Income Populations in Louisville

Dominique Roberts

Portrait of Dominique Roberts

Degree: BASc Criminal Justice, University of Louisville; Masters Higher Education/Human Resources Administration, Texas Southern University; MBA, Criminal Justice, Texas A&M International University

Occupation: Founder/CEO Parrhesiazomai Think Tank Initiative

"The Social Justice aspect of our scholarship curriculum is another reason why I wanted to be a Muhammad Ali Scholar. The Muhammad Ali Scholars program is very attentive, interpersonal and dedicated to impacting the Local, State, National and the Global community. The initiative to champion Peace and Justice in all corners of the globe our program activity participates in the building process to create a more compassionate world by rigorously training and teaching then allowing our cohort to demonstrate these skills.

Social Change is present in my life through addressing my biases, perjuries, and assumptions  so that I can be aware and advance the mission of Peace and Justice. I truly believe that once a person cleans their inner being that's when truly remarkable things will occur. My charge is to affect those in this Globe that are in pain or feel they are not important, I will uplift share and empower others to share their stories along with using my educational and life experiences." 

Focus Topic: School to Prison Pipeline


Mehwish Zaminkhan

Portrait of Mehwish Zaminkhan

Degree: Cellular and Molecular Biology Major, University of Louisville-in progress

Focus Topic: The Intersection of Religion with the Black Lives Matter Movement