by Stephen Garner

JCPenney has partnered with Muhammad Ali Enterprises, appointing the global icon as its Goodwill Ambassador. Through the long-term charitable partnership, Ali’s Six Core Principles will be integrated into JCPenney’s community initiatives and utilized to uplift the retailer’s corporate mission to live by James Cash Penney’s Golden Rule. The partnership will kick off on November 30th with the ‘Be The Greatest’ campaign in honor of Giving Tuesday.

To kick off the partnership, JCPenney has engaged the nonprofit Step Up to serve as the inaugural charitable partner. Step Up propels young women facing system barriers to pursue their dreams of success by empowering them to become confident, career-focused, and ready to join the next generation of leaders.

‘Be The Greatest’ kicks off this holiday season with a virtual livestream event featuring a surprise guest from Muhammad Ali Enterprises, members of the JCPenney community, and Step Up leaders, students, and alumni. The occasion will be marked by a $100,000 donation to Step Up from JCPenney.

“I have always believed that Muhammad belonged to the world,” said Lonnie Ali. “The principles by which he lived are more relevant than ever in 2021. I know that Muhammad would be honored to see his Six Core Principles illuminated by JCPenney and extended to the young women of Step Up.”

“We are incredibly honored to partner with one of the most influential humanitarians of all time to inspire greatness in others,” added Andre Joyner, senior vice president and chief human resources officer at JCPenney. “Muhammad Ali’s Six Core Principles are a natural extension of JCPenney’s founding principle of the Golden Rule—to treat others as we would like to be treated.  We’re excited to launch ‘Be The Greatest’ with Step Up, especially during this season of giving.”

JCPenney has supported Step Up since 2018 by providing grants for their Young Luminaries program, prom dress shopping sprees, associate mentoring opportunities, and most recently a virtual panel in association with International Women’s Day and JCPenney’s Women’s Initiative Networking Group of Success (WINGS) Business Resource Team.

The partnership was created by Authentic Brands Group, which owns Muhammad Ali Enterprises, in partnership with Lonnie Ali as trustee of the Muhammad Ali Family Trust (MAFT).