“I started my pageant system to create a space for young black women to thrive in, and to use their crowns as a more prominent platform. Empowered women will empower women. As these young ladies succeed and learn how to be themselves, their self-esteem, boldness, and confidence grow. The Colorado America Pageant pushed me to embrace our culture like never before, to give us hope and inspiration, and the show us that the sport of pageantry is a sport that we can compete in while representing who we are with grace, class, and integrity.”
What do you think are the greatest needs for young black women?
- Have a strong prayer life first and foremost. I believe that prayer is essential. I am
firm in my faith and I pray every day and prayer changes things.
- Don’t let anyone else write your story, you write your own story. My non-profit is called Be You. My logo translates from a book to a crown which means be authentically who you are and tell your own story and know that you’re royalty. Nobody has to say to you that you’re royalty, especially when you know that you’re a child of the king .
- Gravitate to positive energy and find a strong mentor that can give you direction, a strong woman that they can model after. A lot of youth and young women look to me as a mentor; however, I have a mentor myself who is Dr. Regina Lewis. The things that she pours into me, I’m able to pour into the youth. She is one of our strong black women in this community. We have to guard our energy and be mindful of what we allow people to deposit into our spirit because it sets the tone.
- Use your voice to advocate for the change that they would like to see in your
community. Do not let anyone mute your voice. A lot of people dismiss me before they even get to know me personally. When I walk in a room with a pair of skinny jeans and stilettos, some people get offended and insecure and push me away. I used to tell myself, and I don’t fit in, I’m not going to say anything. But when I began to create my own space to advocate for the change that I wanted to see, that’s when I was able to really empower others to do the same thing. When you create your space, nobody gets to tell you that you don’t fit. It’s your space and you’ve created it.
- Your voice truly matters. All of us have things that we need to be heard about. It’s essential for us to be present as a black community because when you are not present, you lose your ability to impact your community.
Interview by the Editor In Chief, Brandon Bornes