Honoring a World Champion Changemaker


Last week, we all lost a champion humanitarian, a changemaker and a bright point of light in our world with the passing of Muhammad Ali. Throughout his life, he used his voice and his platform as a political and social activist for issues that were profoundly personal to him at a time when taking a public stand as an athlete was unheard of and even detrimental to his career. He was an avid volunteer and mentor, making frequent trips to hospitals, shelters and soup kitchens in the U.S. and abroad, and actively encouraging young people through Make-a-Wish and the Special Olympics. And to this day, he was a champion for equality, justice and opportunity despite the physical toll it took and because, as he said, "service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth."

That passion for service is why we had been planning to recognize Mr. Ali at the Conference on Volunteering and Service later this month. It's why he and his wife, Lonnie, had accepted the invitation to open the event. All of us in the Points of Light family offer our deepest condolences to Mr. Ali's family and loved ones. We join the world in mourning the passing of this great champion. And, in a few weeks we will join 4,000 leaders from across the changemaking sector in celebrating his legacy and its profound impact on history.