Social Worker, Activist & Author
Maryum Ali, affectionately known as May May, was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and is the eldest child of boxing legend Muhammad Ali’s nine children. As a little girl, her father asked her what she thought her purpose in life was and she replied, “I want to help people.” Maryum’s efforts to help people have manifested in a myriad of ways throughout her life. Read More >
Muhammad Ali Memorial
Helping Kids Find Paths to Great Futures
Muhammad Ali was in his late thirties when he and his family began to notice some symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Being only in his thirties, doctors thought it was just the normal "punch drunkenness" that a lot of boxers get. As a result, her father was misdiagnosed for almost 10 years. Read More >
As an advocate for Parkinson’s disease (PD) awareness and research, Maryum tells a personal story about how her father dealt with Parkinson's and her family's experience, beginning with his symptoms in the early days to his eventual diagnosis. Since symptoms vary, Ali educates audiences about the importance of seeing the right doctors when you know something doesn't feel right and the things you can do to live as normal of a life as possible, if diagnosed. Her inspirational and informative talk includes a visual presentation with photos of various aspects of Muhammad Ali's journey with PD. Topics include: Read Less ^
Maryum is a Social Worker with fifteen years of experience in juvenile delinquency prevention and youth development, working with over three hundred youth and their families. She has served as a Director of gang prevention programs and as a Regional Manager for the Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction & Youth Development in the City of Los Angeles. Read More >
Maryum shares thought-provoking stories about her passion for working with people impacted by institutional disparities, high rates of violence and other social issues. She talks about the ups and downs experienced in this field and how to overcome challenges. Maryum shares some of the best practices in being a collaborative partner with clients as they are on paths to understanding the greatness that lies within them. She also talks about how her father's influenced her decision to become a Social Worker. Read Less ^
Maryum gives a daughter's perspective on the life and legacy of Muhammad Ali as well as the lessons that can be learned from a champion boxer, civil rights activist, humanitarian and man of faith. She offers an I AM ALI documentary film screening and Q&A session as part of this keynote. I AM ALI is an intimate and heart-warming look at the man behind the legend, as we've never seen Ali before. This inspirational story is told through exclusive, unprecedented access to Ali's personal archive of audio journals combined with touching interviews and testimonials from his inner circle of family and friends.
"Everything was fantastic. She did a great job and was very well received!"
"A big thank you to Maryum Ali. What an enjoyable time. I was challenged, motivated, and encouraged. I have continued to ponder what you shared, and I am rethinking many of my priorities."
"We received such positive feedback about Maryum, she was a pleasure to have join us this year. Our committee loved having time with her at dinner, and the presentation at the event was lovely!"
"Everyone I spoke to loved her. She was funny, smart and very dedicated to her beliefs. I’d go see her again."
"She was terrific! She connected well with various members of our communities and proved an amiable attendant at the prison, cocktail party, luncheon and with staff, volunteers and guests alike. She seems authentically interested and engaged. She allowed us to attract more men than is typical of our audience, and we exceeded all of our goals with the event. We can’t sing her praises highly enough!!!"
"She was very engaging with the Together We Grow participants and the Dinner Audience. It was apparent that she did her homework about the Food Bank and tailored her presentation to the Event and Food Bank. She was very easy to work with and was very accommodating. Her passion was apparent and contagious, and I loved working with her. Everyone I have heard from agrees and would definitely go see her again."
"I just wanted to let you know that we were MORE THAN pleased having Maryum as our keynote speaker. She was amazing and was able to connect our work in the community to her work. I was impressed with the fact that she took the time prior to the event to ask me questions to totally understand our work in the community...it really made a great link. She connected with the audience, was humorous and REAL! I would recommend her to anyone!
MANY attendees thought she was our best speaker to date!"