In 1993, Dennis Muhammad, a protégé of Muhammad Ali, asked “the people’s champ” to sponsor a concept that would create business, employment and training (B.E.T.) opportunities for residents of public housing, troubled youth and ex-offenders of low and dis-invested communities.
In 1994, Dennis saw a need to set up Do for Self CDC to run and manage the program under the Muhammad Ali Development Corporation. Do for Self worked in the background due to Ali’s world-wide notoriety as a celebrity and humanitarian and his ability to captivate the support of the public and private sectors. Ali’s charisma helped to magnify the need to champion this cause.
Dennis asked the champ for the use of his [Muhammad Ali] name for three-years and Ali gave his permission for seven. With Ali’s support and God’s will, we managed to create employment and training for ex-offenders, rival street gangs, troubled youth and low income residents without government grants.