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Laila Ali to speak at the Lake Michigan College Mendel Center as part of the LMC Speaker Series Jan. 18

Laila Ali to speak at the Lake Michigan College Mendel Center as part of the LMC Speaker Series Jan. 18

The Lake Michigan College Mendel Center welcomes to the Mainstage 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.

Tickets for Laila Ali start at $50. They 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.


Mendel Center 2023-2024 Season Sponsors

Stage Side Sponsors: Meijer, Sturgis Bank, TPC Technologies, Wales Wealth Management Group
Platinum Sponsor: CK Catering, Forte Coffee
Media Partners: 97.5 Y Country, 98.3 The Coast, The Herald Palladium, The Lake 95.7 MailMax, News/Talk 94.9 WSJM, Rock 107 WIRX, SuperHits 103.7
Preferred Partner Hotel: The Boulevard Inn & Bistro, Hilton Garden Inn Benton Harbor/St. Joseph
Artistic Partners: Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Twin City Players


About MLK Celebration Week 2024 

MLK Celebration Week 2024 is a community-wide effort honoring and celebrating the enduring legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and those who continue to tread in his footsteps.

This year's theme, "Power of One Voice," draws inspiration from Dr. King's belief in the significance of an individual's voice when speaking out against injustice.

The MLK Celebration Week 2024 takes place Jan. 15-20, 2024, on Lake Michigan College's Benton Harbor Campus and at various locations throughout the community. It encompasses guest speakers, roundtable discussions, musical performances, a community resource fair, a community breakfast, Spirit of MLK Spotlight honors, community service projects, children’s activities, a community art project, artistic reflections, and more. 

For more information, visit


About the Lake Michigan College Mendel Center

The Lake Michigan College Mendel Center raised the curtain on its first Mendel Center season performance in the fall of 1992. Since then, it has presented performances and guest speakers to more than half a million patrons in the 1,559-seat Mendel Center Mainstage Theatre. Grand Upton Hall, first opened in 1979 and fully renovated in 2019, is a 13,700-square-foot venue serving the community as the host site for meetings, banquets, trade shows, weddings, and other celebrations. The 229-seat Hanson Theatre, which was renovated in 2020, hosts numerous Lake Michigan College Visual & Performing Arts Department performances as well as a variety of Mendel Center and community events.

The Mendel Center is 30 minutes from Niles and 40 minutes from the Kalamazoo and South Bend areas. It is located on the Lake Michigan College campus at 2755 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor, Michigan, one mile east of I-94 (Exit 30) and one mile west of the US 31 Bypass (exit 24). Its GPS mapping address is 1100 Yore Avenue, Benton Harbor, MI.

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Posted November 14, 2023

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Lake Michigan College Mendel Center
2755 E. Napier Avenue
Benton Harbor, MI 49022

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