Glee actress Lauren Potter, staunch advocate for the intellectually disabled, presents public talk March 18

Lauren Potter, the 24-year-old actress with Down Syndrome best known for playing the role of cheerleader Becky Jackson on the hit TV show Glee, will talk about all she has overcome to pursue her dreams and her ongoing commitment to make a difference in the world when she presents a public lecture at Salve Regina University next week.

Potter, a staunch advocate for disability rights who serves as a member of President Obama’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities, will give her talk, followed by a Q&A, on Wednesday, March 18 at 7 p.m. in Bazarsky Lecture Hall, located in O’Hare Academic Center on Ochre Point Ave. Presented by Salve Regina’s Campus Activities Board, the event is free and open to the public.

Potter has traveled around the country to speak out against bullying that the intellectually disabled community confronts on a daily basis. She serves on the Board of Best Buddies International, has participated in the Abilitypath.org campaign against bullying, partnered with the Special Olympics in their “End the Word” campaign, and is currently lending her name and fame to numerous organizations, including the Down Syndrome Association and the American Association of People with Disabilities.

Her disability rights advocacy has earned her awards from The Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles, the Arc, and the Full Life Festival. Ms. Potter is a graduate of Polytechnic High School in Riverside, Calif. and she has attended classes at Irvine Valley College.

Potter made her acting debut in the 2007 movie “Mr. Blue Sky,” playing the part of young Andra Little. She has appeared on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”

In 2012 she was nominated for a SAG Award for her work in the Ensemble in a Comedy Series category for her work on Glee. She was also honored with the SAG/AFTRA Harold Russell Award at the 2012 Media Access Awards.

“As a girl who has accomplished things that many didn’t think were possible, I know that people can be wrong when they judge someone else just because they are different,” she told the Huffington Post in an interview published in June. “We are all different. And that isn’t bad, it’s just, well, different,”

She went on to say: “Because of Glee I have been given a chance to pursue another dream of mine – to make the world a more welcoming place for people who are different – especially for people like me who have always been told “you can’t” instead of “you can.” I want to live in a world where everyone can live, go to school and go to work without having to be afraid. Afraid of being judged, afraid of being bullied or cyber-bullied. Afraid of new things. Afraid of failure. Afraid of dreaming.”