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Virtual screening, conversation to address intersection of sports, politics by examining life of Muhammad Ali

Posted 25 Jan 2022

Event part of week-long observance of the National Day of Racial Healing

CONWAY, Ark. (Arkansas PBS) — Arkansas PBS, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and the Arkansas Peace and Justice Memorial will host the free, virtual conversation “Ali in Arkansas: Athlete to Leader” Thursday, Jan. 27, at 6:30 p.m. to explore how issues that made headlines during Ali’s lifetime are still relevant today. Anyone may RSVP for the event at, and 50 attendees will be chosen to receive the book “Ali: A Life” and an Ali T-shirt.


This intergenerational conversation will feature clips from the PBS documentary “Muhammad Ali,” a film by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon, followed by a live panel discussion. The discussion will focus on the intersection of sports and politics, including such topics as racial justice; civic engagement and youth involvement in social movements; athletes and philanthropy; and storytelling as a unifying force that inspires deep reflection and connection.


Panelists for the event will include:


Event moderators Clarice and Kwami Abdul-Bey, co-conveners of the Arkansas Peace & Justice Memorial Movement and 2021 Arkansas Coalition for Peace and Justice - Arkansas Peace Activists of the Year recipients. Clarice and Kwami are the co-directors of the Washitaw Foothills Youth Media Arts & Literacy Collective and regularly lend their voices to the Arkansas PBS Engage Blog.


“Ali in Arkansas: Athlete to Leader” is part of the week- long programming that is being offered in observance of the National Day of Racial Healing in the state of Arkansas, leading up to the 2022 Social Justice & Racial Equity Challenge Feb. 1-28.


“Muhammad Ali” will air on Arkansas PBS on Fridays, Jan. 28-Feb. 18, at 8 p.m. The film follows the life of one of the most consequential men of the 20th century, a three-time heavyweight boxing champion who captivated millions of fans with his combination of speed, agility and power in the ring, and his charm, wit and outspokenness outside of it. At the height of his fame, Ali challenged Americans’ racial prejudices, religious biases, and notions about what roles celebrities and athletes play in our society, and inspired people all over the world with his message of pride and self-affirmation.


This event was made possible in part with grant funds from WETA.


Corporate funding for “Muhammad Ali” was provided by Bank of America. Major funding was provided by David M. Rubenstein. Major funding was also provided by The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and by The Better Angels Society and by its members Alan and Marcia Docter; Mr. and Mrs. Paul Tudor Jones; The Fullerton Family Charitable Fund; Gilchrist and Amy Berg; The Brooke Brown Barzun Philanthropic Foundation, The Owsley Brown III Philanthropic Foundation and The Augusta Brown Holland Philanthropic Foundation; Perry and Donna Golkin; John and Leslie McQuown; John and Catherine Debs; Fred and Donna Seigel; Susan and John Wieland; Stuart and Joanna Brown; Diane and Hal Brierley; Fiddlehead Fund; Rocco and Debby Landesman; McCloskey Family Charitable Trust; Mauree Jane and Mark Perry; and Donna and Richard Strong. And by viewers like you.


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