Laila Ali to speak at LMC Mendel Center as part of Speaker Series, MLK Celebration Week

Published 5:00 am Sunday, January 7, 2024

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BENTON HARBOR — The Lake Michigan College Mendel Center welcomes to the Main stage boxing world champion, international Boxing Hall of Famer, CEO, and author Laila Ali at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18.

Ali’s presentation is part of the LMC Speaker Series and MLK Celebration Week 2024, a community-wide effort honoring the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  

Ali is a world-class athlete, fitness and wellness advocate, TV host, home chef, founder of the Laila Ali Lifestyle Brand, and mother of two. The daughter of the late beloved global icon and humanitarian, Muhammad Ali, she is a four-time undefeated boxing world champion whose stellar record includes 24 wins – 21 of which were “knockouts” – and zero losses. 

Beyond the ring, Ali champions women’s role in sports having served as a past president of the Women’s Sports Foundation and being a major voice for the 40th anniversary of Title IX which protects women’s rights to be included and treated equally in collegiate sports. 

Her passion for sports, wellness, and fitness has landed Ali in the national TV spotlight hosting “Everyday Health” in syndication on ABC, “ESPN Sports Humanitarian Awards,” “American Gladiators,” “All-in with Laila Ali” in syndication on CBS, “Late Night Chef Fight” on the FYI Network, and three seasons of the Emmy Award-winning show “Home Made Simple” on the Oprah Winfrey Network. 

She also has made numerous guest TV appearances including “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2017, on Food Network’s celebrity edition of “Chopped,” and cooking segments on “Rachel Ray,” “Dr. Oz,” “The Chew,” and Steve Harvey’s daytime talk show. Never one to turn down a challenge, Ali made it to the final round of the fourth season of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”

Ali is also a successful entrepreneur with her own lifestyle brand of organic spices, nutrition supplements, skincare, apparel, and home décor products. She has two best-selling books to her credit: her cookbook “Food for Life” and a dynamic book for young women about her life’s story “Reach: Finding Strength, Spirit, and Personal Power.”

During an “Evening with Laila Ali,” she will discuss a wide range of topics including her trailblazing career in sports, her journey as an entrepreneur, and the influence of her famous father on her life. 

Before Ali speaks, a separately ticketed dinner will be held in Grand Upton Hall beginning at 5:30 p.m. The meal includes beverage service, a buffet meal, and dessert. A cash bar will be available. 

Tickets for Laila Ali start at $50. Dinner tickets are $45. Both may be purchased at and through the Mendel Center box office at 269-927-8700 option 1 or in person weekdays from noon-2 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. The box office is also open two hours before show times in the Mainstage lobby.