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The mom of Heather Heyer displays on her daughter’s legacy on the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards in Louisville. Sept. 23, 2017

Heather Heyer needed you to concentrate.

The 32-year-old, a counter-protester who died in August after a “Unite the Right” rally of white nationalists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, did not need individuals to look the opposite method once they noticed wrongs, her mom stated. She needed individuals to step up.

“She wants you to take notice of what’s happening in the world – good, bad and ugly – and then do something about it,” her mom Susan Bro stated. “Be moved into positive action. Nonviolent action, but an action nevertheless.”

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Heyer was posthumously honored with the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Social Justice Saturday, acknowledged for her “love for individuals regardless of race, religion or creed.” It’s a recognition that her mom stated provides one other layer to spreading her daughter’s legacy and preserving it alive. 

The Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards have been created in 2013 as a method to publicly acknowledge and rejoice the greatness of individuals from around the globe, in line with the Ali Center.

Other “seasoned humanitarians” honored Saturday night included University of Kentucky graduate Ashley Judd, a “feminist social justice humanitarian;” Patricia Arquette, an actress, author and activist; Princess Nisreen El-Hashemite, who established the World Women’s Heath and Development Forum on the United Nations; Paige Elenson, co-founder of the Africa Yoga Project; and Hill Harper, an actor, best-selling writer and philanthropist. 

The Ali Center additionally honored six younger adults for serving as advocates, activists and position fashions to assist rework communities and convey constructive modifications to the world. Each of those six winners are acknowledged for one among Muhammad Ali’s Six Core Principles: confidence, conviction, dedication, giving, respect and spirituality.

Jamillah Ali Joyce, certainly one of Muhammad Ali’s daughters, stated the awards in her father’s reminiscence are a supply of inspiration.

“My dad is here in spirit, and we want to live through his legacy,” she stated. “It inspires us to be the better version of ourselves and to do great things with what we have to offer.”

Proceeds raised in the course of the awards help instructional initiatives, group programming and on-site exhibitions, in line with the Ali Center.

In saying Heyer’s award, Muhammad Ali’s widow Lonnie Ali famous her story exhibits how a lot has modified because the civil rights motion, but in addition “how much has not changed.” 

“By speaking out for justice and equality, Heather embodied the spirit of the civil rights movement,” she stated. “Heather was a young woman who was deeply involved in taking a stand against injustice, even when she didn’t have to do so.”

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Heyer died when a automotive ran right into a crowd of counter-protesters on the “Unite the Right” rally. The driver of the automotive, James Alex Fields, Jr., faces a number of costs in reference to the incident. 

What occurred to Heyer was a tragedy, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer stated, including that he is pleased with Bro for her activism throughout such a troublesome time.

“I told her, here in our city, that tragedy has led to more and more people having discussions around issues of slavery, of racism,” Fischer stated. “She said, ‘That’s what I hope for.'”

Heyer was a pacesetter in her personal approach, her mom stated throughout her acceptance speech Saturday, as a result of she believed in herself “just enough” to take motion.

“All of us everywhere have the capability to find in ourselves that confidence, that respect for others, that we can do that for other people,” Bro stated. “You don’t have to be great, you just have to do it.” 

Reach reporter Darcy Costello at 502-582-4834 or dcostello@courier-journal.com.

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