International author and speaker Rasheda Ali-Walsh will be the featured speaker at Piedmont Virginia Community College’s 44th commencement ceremony on Friday, May 12, at 6 p.m., at John Paul Jones Arena, located at 295 Massie Drive in Charlottesville.
Ali-Walsh, daughter of former world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, is an internationally known spokesperson and advocate for Parkinson’s disease. Her book, “I’ll Hold Your Hand So You Won’t Fall: A Child’s Guide to Parkinson’s Disease,” was inspired by her father, who suffered from the disease for more than 30 years. Her book has been translated into four different languages and has been distributed across the globe.
“We are honored to have Ms. Ali-Walsh as our commencement speaker this year,” said PVCC President Frank Friedman. “Ms. Ali-Walsh is an inspiration, serving not only as a worldwide advocate for Parkinson’s disease, but as a spokesperson for her father’s message of peace, equality and social justice. She has a powerful message to share and is an outstanding role model for our students.”
In addition to her advocacy work, Ali-Walsh has appeared on many national and international shows including TMZ Sports, Dateline with Katie Couric, Good Morning America, The Today Show and others and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild: American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. She founded her own media company, Raw Dreams LLC, in Las Vegas, Nev., in 2007.
Ali-Walsh previously worked with the Muhammad Ali Parkinson’s Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Ariz., and The Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Ky., and served as an advisory board member of BrainStorm Cell Theraputics, a leading biotechnology company, for 10 years.
To learn more about Ali-Walsh, visit her website at http://rashedaali.net.