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April 13, 2015

M. Night and Bhavan Shyamalan to host panel of philanthropists, activists

M. Night Shyamalan Foundation's first event focuses on social change

Famous Penn Valley-raised filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan and his wife Dr. Bhavan Shymalan will host a special event April 17 at the University of Pennsylvania. The two will spend an evening chatting about social change with the grantees of their philanthropic organization for its first public program.

The Shyamalan's co-founded the M. Night Shyamalan Foundation in 2001. Ever since, the foundation has worked to empower communities around the world to overcome inequity. The organization also supports grassroots leaders creating real social change. Three of MNSF's grantees will take part in the panel discussion, called "Action to Make a Better World."

Katie Meyler, a New Jersey native and TIME 2014 "Person of the Year," leads More Than Me, an organization that works to provide educational opportunities for girls in Liberia. More Than Me also took action when Liberia was struck with Ebola, serving the children made vulnerable by its spread.

James Kofi Annan overcame years as a child slave in Ghana to get a university education and found a lucrative career. He left his job as a bank manager, though, to found Challenging Heights which promotes children's freedoms and rights in Ghana. 

UPenn grad Alejandro Gac-Artigas founded the Springboard Collaborative in 2011 in an effort to mend the education and achievement gap in low-income communities. He was also named one of the Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2014.

Meyler, Gac-Artigas and Annan will join the Shyamalan's to discuss their work, future plans and the status of the MSNF. As with Shyamalan's filmmaking, the MSNF is locally based. This program is free and open to the public, but tickets are required.

6 p.m. | Free admission, tickets required
Penn Museum, Widener Lecture Hall
3260 South St.
(215) 898-4000