Supermodel Beverly Johnson joins Quincy Jones and John C. McGinley as International Spokesperson for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation

Johnson will walk the runway on Wednesday, November 16 at the J.W. Marriott in Washington, D.C. to Advocate for More Research Support


Denver (Nov. 16, 2011) – The Global Down Syndrome Foundation announced that supermodel Beverly Johnson will join music icon Quincy Jones and award-winning actor John C. McGinley as an international spokesperson for the organization.  Johnson was the first African American to have ever graced the cover of Vogue (American magazine) in 1974.

Johnson will participate in the Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s inaugural Wash, D.C. fundraiser, the “Be Beautiful Be Yourself Gala” on Nov. 16th at the J.W. Marriott.  She will be joining Gladys Knight, Kyra Phillips, Senator Tom Harkin, Congressman Pete Sessions, Self-Advocate Ambassador Alex Sessions and a host of notables at this must-attend event.

Johnson recently participated in the Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s fundraiser in Denver, Colo. and was impressed with the results, “After the Denver event I knew I wanted to be more involved.  It was the most inspiring charity event I have ever attended, and the awareness it brings to what people with Down syndrome can do is amazing.  I said sign me up!”

Johnson is a strong advocate for people with Down syndrome, including her niece Natalie Fuller.  As a new spokesperson for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, Johnson plans to draw attention to the need for significantly more research and medical care funding.  She will also shine a light on the lifespan disparity between blacks with Down syndrome and whites with Down syndrome.

“We are deeply moved by Beverly’s determination to create a better world for her niece and the millions more who have Down syndrome worldwide.  Her celebrity, poise and articulate manner will certainly help us to raise research dollars that will allow us to close the lifespan gap between blacks and whites,” said Michelle Sie Whitten, the executive director of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation.

The  Global Down Syndrome Foundation is a public non-profit 501(c)(3) dedicated to significantly improving the lives of people with Down syndrome through research, medical care, education, and advocacy.  Formally established in 2009, the Foundation’s primary focus is to support the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, the first academic home in the U.S. committed to research and medical care for people with the condition. For more information, please visit


One in every 691 babies is born with Down syndrome in the U.S. each year. There are an estimated 400,000 people in the U.S. and millions worldwide with the condition.  Despite its frequency, Down syndrome has been the least funded genetic condition by the National Institutes of Health over the last ten years.

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