By: Layla Kellogg
Community leaders joined Bellarmine University students and faculty to celebrate Muhammad Ali’s legacy and launch a new app in honor of him and what he stood for.
Two of Ali’s daughters, Jamillah and Rasheda Ali, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Bellarmine President Dr. Susan Donovan celebrated the occasion and remembered the man Louisville knows as “The Greatest” at an event Thursday in Centro.
“I always like to say ‘he belonged to the world, but he only had one hometown,’ and that’s our hometown here,” Fischer said. “He was so proud of Louisville.”
Fischer described the app as “the next stage in the evolution of the communication of (Ali’s) message” and said the development of an app allows even more people to be connected.
The new app, Hours Against Hate, is a free game designed to “promote the interaction of individuals with diverse ethnic backgrounds and religious beliefs,” according to the game description.
Hours Against Hate debuted on Bellarmine’s campus during Ali’s birth week. The app was created by the Muhammad Ali Center to further its mission.
Jeanie Kahnke, senior director of public relations and external affairs for the Ali Center, said the Center was created to be much more than a museum.
“(Lonnie and Muhammad Ali) wanted it to be a cultural center, an institution that would carry on and preserve Muhammad’s legacy forever, especially for the next generation, which is why we are launching apps,” Kahnke said.
Muhammad Ali’s daughter, Jamillah Ali, shared stories and lessons learned from her father, remembering his soft spot for children and young adults.
“He gravitated towards young people because they were so impressionable,” she said. “The young minds that we inspire today create great leaders for tomorrow.”
Muhammad Ali was known for six core principles: confidence, conviction, dedication, respect, spirituality and giving.
“The core principles of Muhammad Ali are ones we are in search for these days,” Donovan said. “He was an avid one for respect and was recognized globally as a humanitarian. His values line up with those we value at Bellarmine.”
Ali’s principles guided his life and were aspects he wanted so share with others to make the world a better place. The Hours Against Hate app strives to do just that in a format that reaches younger generations.
His daughter, Rasheda Ali, describes the app as “a game with a purpose.”
“The Hours Against Hate app is a beginning to where we can start to make a difference in changing who we are and how we see others on a global scale,” Rasheda Ali said.
The app involves answering questions about religions, practices and prominent figures across many different cultures. Players can play solo or enter a match to play against someone from around the world in a trivia race.
While promoting interaction, players are ranked with points that display on a global leadership board. Players gain points from answering questions correctly. The more differences there are between two players, the more points players receive.
Anna-Maria Beck, a Bellarmine freshman, said she appreciates how Muhammad Ali’s legacy has been kept alive and how his values still have an impact.
“Those values are obviously important in our culture today, especially because people can be judgmental towards other people,” Beck said. “We should accept everyone.”
Those remembering everything Muhammad Ali stood for are hopeful that his presence will continue to inspire others all over the world.
“The initiative through the Muhammad Ali Center is one that will inspire us to make a positive impact on our global community, but it starts from our local community,” Rasheda Ali said. “It started in Louisville.”
The app is available on iTunes and Google Play.
A second app, Generation Ali, launches Feb. 1. For more information, visit alicenter.org.