Actress Selenis Leyva from the NETFLIX’s hit series Orange Is The New Black (OITNB) will speak at Brookdale Community College on Wednesday, November 6 at 7 p.m. in the Collins Arena. The topic of her address is Untold Stories: A new beginning in promoting intercultural competence, developing social change, inclusion and finding the courage to never give up and follow your dreams.
In addition to her role as Gloria Mendoza on OITNB, Leyva also appeared as the first Latina Senator on HBO’s Emmy-winning series, Veep, and in the feature film Custody.
Leyva has appeared in numerous guest and recurring roles on shows such as Madam Secretary, Law & Order: SVU, Blue Bloods, The Sopranos, The Good Wife and many others. Her movie credits include Sex & the City 2, the Oscar-nominated film Maria Full of Grace and the animated films Ice Age: Continental Drift, EPIC and Ice Age: Dawn of Dinosaurs. In the theater, Leyva also appeared in New York stage productions including the iconic role of Celia Cruz in the off-Broadway hit CELIA and in the critically acclaimed plays Anna in the Tropics and Dona Flor & Her 2 Husbands. Leyva also worked behind the camera as executive producer on the independent film Romeo & Romeo.
Born and raised in New York City, Leyva is a proud Latina of Cuban and Dominican descent. She is the first Hispanic Ambassador for the Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research and recipient of the 2015 HOLA Jose Ferrer Tespis Award and the 2015 Cosmo for Latina’s Women of the Year Award. She received a Special Achievement Award for breaking barriers in the arts at the 2014 ALMA Awards.
She is also an advocate for LGBT rights and works closely with LGBT Human Rights Organizations, Anti-Bullying Campaigns, Body Image, and Homelessness in America Today.
General admission to the event is $5. Advance tickets are required. Those interested in attending may call 732-224-2788 or visit the Student Life & Activities ticket window on the lower level of the Student Life Center. Tickets are free for Brookdale students and employees.