University of Southern California

Dean James G. Ellis to Speak at 2009 Los Angeles Partnership Walk
Ellis Joins an Expected Crowd of 2,500 for Annual Fundraising and Awareness Event to Alleviate Global Poverty
October 14, 2009 • by News at Marshall

USC Marshall Dean James G. Ellis will deliver a keynote speech as the guest of honor at the 2009 Los Angeles Partnership Walk, an initiative of Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. (AKF USA) to raise awareness and funds to alleviate global poverty and promote partnership between America and the developing world. The Partnership Walk takes place on Sunday, October 25 at 11 a.m. on the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica.

Dean Ellis will be joined by Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard C. Parks, 8th District, AKF USA West Chairman Muizz Kheraj (MBA '04) and AKF USA Chairman Aziz Valliani. The dean's remarks will reflect the 2009 theme for the Walk, "Education – The Universal Bridge."

"I am honored to be a part of this important event," said Ellis. "Education is a key factor in overcoming poverty and I commend the Aga Khan Foundation for their efforts in facilitating access to education at all levels in the developing world."

The foundation's education efforts span a broad range of initiatives to help people in Asia and Africa reach their full potential, covering early childhood development, primary and secondary school improvement, and skills and management training for professionals, entrepreneurs and community members. These efforts equip people with life-long skills to overcome poverty and embrace the time-tested principle of helping people to help themselves.

Free registration for the program and walk begins at 9:30 a.m. Opening ceremonies commence on the pier at 10:30 a.m., followed by speeches at 11 a.m. and a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The Laker Girls will warm up the crowd before the walk. The program will feature lively entertainment celebrating the diversity of world cultures, including performances by Bollywood stars Rahul Khanna, Pooja Batra and Pooma Jagannatha and educational exhibits for the entire family. The 2.2-mile walk along Ocean Boulevard is scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m.

More than 2,500 people are expected to participate in the Los Angeles walk, part of an event held annually in major cities across the U.S. This year marks the 15th year for Partnership Walk in Los Angeles, and nationwide more than 30,000 people are expected to participate in nine cities, including Atlanta, Birmingham, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Memphis, Orlando and San Francisco.

The Walk brings together families, friends, students and leaders in government, business, media and the arts for a day of learning activities, fundraising and culturally diverse performances. All funds raised at Partnership Walk go directly to projects supported by the Foundation. The cost of organizing the Walk is completely underwritten by AKF USA and in-kind contributors. No contributions are used for administrative costs. Since the 1995 inaugural Walk in Los Angeles, Partnerships InAction events have attracted over 280,000 participants, raising $32 million.

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