Press Room

Maryum “May May” Ali Joins the Parkinson’s Unity Walk Board of Directors

Kingston, N.J., February 16, 2021 – The Parkinson Alliance announced today the appointment of Maryum “May May” Ali to the Board of Directors of the Parkinson’s Unity Walk.

Parkinson’s Unity Walk, the largest single-day grassroots fundraiser for Parkinson’s disease research in the country, announced that Maryum “May May” Ali has joined the Board of Directors. For the past twenty years, May May has been a spokesperson for the Parkinson’s Unity Walk, helping to bring Parkinson’s disease (PD) awareness and the importance of research to the forefront.

“We are thrilled that May May has agreed to join our Board. Her tireless dedication to the Unity Walk for over two decades has inspired so many in our PD community, including patients living with PD, their families and friends, and caregivers. Her efforts have significantly impacted the success we have had in funding patient-centered research and resources. She has aided in our efforts to raise awareness and funds for research to end Parkinson’s disease, support the development of new therapies, and improve the quality of life for those living with the disease. Every year, you’ll find her at the Parkinson’s Unity Walk in New York’s Central Park, sharing a poem she has recently composed for the day and encouraging participants to stay hopeful and proactive. May May also gives presentations about her father’s journey with PD for patients, caregivers, and the pharmaceutical industry,” said Carol J. Walton, President & CEO of The Parkinson Alliance.

When Maryum “May May” Ali was a child, her father Muhammad Ali would often ask her, “What is your purpose?” May May would give the same response, “I want to help people.” May May’s efforts to fulfill her purpose have manifested in a myriad of ways throughout her life.

As a creative spirit, she performed as a stand-up comedian for over ten years and released a rap album in 1992 titled “The Introduction” on Scottie Bros, Records. Most of her entertainment content included insightful observations, addressed social issues, and promoted high moral values. When the rap music industry began focusing on violence and female exploitation, May May left the music business to embark upon a more direct way of helping young people. So, back to school, she went.

May May graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. Degree in Social Work. She has over fifteen years of experience in juvenile delinquency prevention and youth development. She has worked as a Case Manager, Program Director, and Regional Manager for the Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction & Youth Development in the City of Los Angeles. In 2016, the A&E Network heard about her work in high crime communities and invited her to participate in their ground-breaking docuseries, “60 Days In,” where she spent time in a real jail as an undercover inmate to make recommendations for jail reform.

Maryum is currently a Social Worker and Public Speaker. Most of her keynote speeches are for social and human services organizations. Other speech and presentation topics can be found on her website at

For more information about our Board Members, visit our website.

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About The Parkinson Alliance

The mission of The Parkinson Alliance is to raise funds for patient-centered research to end Parkinson’s disease, support the development of new therapies, and improve the quality of life for those living with the disease.

The Parkinson Alliance serves as the umbrella organization for the Parkinson’s Unity Walk and Team Parkinson. Altogether, we have funded over $33 million in research since our founding in 1999.

Stacey Walstrum
Development Director
Parkinson’s Unity Walk
(866) 789-9255

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The Parkinson Alliance is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Copyright © 2022 The Parkinson Alliance. All rights reserved.