Tickets are now on sale for Cameron University and Cameron Campus Ministries’ 33rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration banquet. This year’s keynote speaker is social worker, activist and author, Maryum Ali, who will present “Learning from and Applying the Legacy of Muhammad Ali.” The banquet is scheduled for Monday, January 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the Aggie Rec Center. Tickets are $35 for adults and $15 for students and are available by calling Cameron Campus Ministry at 580-583-3109. The deadline to purchase tickets is Monday, January 9.
Ali will also be featured during an afternoon discussion session starting at 2:30 p.m. in the McCasland Ballroom of the McMahon Centennial Complex. The discussion session is open to the public at no charge.
Ali, affectionately known as May May, was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and is the eldest child of the late boxing legend Muhammad Ali. As a little girl, her father asked her what she thought her purpose in life was, and she replied, “I want to help people.” Her efforts to help people have manifested in a myriad of ways throughout her life.
She performed as a stand-up comedian for 12 years in venues across the country, filling rooms with humor and insightful observations of social issues. As a regular performer at The Comedy Store in Hollywood, she worked alongside talents such as Jim Carey, Chris Rock, and Martin Lawrence. During that same time, she was also writing rap lyrics with plans of publishing her music.
In 1992, her rap album, “The Introduction,” was released by Scotti Brothers Records. She viewed music as a way to inspire youth to strive for their dreams despite challenges and hardships. When the rap industry began focusing on music filled with violence and female exploitation, Ali decided to find a more direct way of helping young people. She left show business and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Social Work from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. While in college, she worked as a trained mediator for Clark County Social Services, Neighborhood Justice Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ali has 15 years of experience in delinquency prevention and family development and has worked in many capacities in this field; from having direct practice experience with over 300 families to working as a Regional Manager for the Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction & Youth Development in the City of Los Angeles. She is currently seeking private funding for the non-profit organization, DMTL, a gang prevention and youth development program that she co-founded with Nason Buchanan.
She is the author of a children’s picture book about her father, “I Shook Up the World: The Incredible Life of Muhammad Ali,” and is also a spokesperson for Team Parkinson and The Parkinson’s Unity Walk.
The 2017 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration is co-sponsored by Cameron Campus Ministries and Cameron University. For more information, please contact Cameron Campus Ministries at (580) 583-3109.
November 20, 2016