Advocate for Women Refugees

Emmanuella Uzoigwe, the reigning Miss Black Utah USA 2017 immigrated with her family from Nigeria to the United States when she was 9 years old.  

At a very early age, she knew that she wanted to pursue a career in the health care field.  After earning her B.S. in Health Promotion and Education at the University of Utah and fulfilling all pre-medical coursework and research, Emma started an accelerated nursing program that will be completed in about 16 months. After this program, she plans to earn a MSN/MPH and then complete a doctorate level psychiatric Nurse Practitioner licensure program.  She is determined to answer the call to become a mental health practitioner and help to fight the stigma of mental health prevalent in the Black community.   

The former Miss Africa Utah 2014 dedicates her platform to the growth and advancement of Refugee women in Salt Lake City Utah and supports the Refugee and Immigrant Center of Utah.  

She Wears An "S" On Her Chest

Chelsi Glascoe, Miss Black District of Columbia USA 2017 is a modern day heroine.  A graduate of Clark Atlanta University, Chelsi received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology reflecting her passion for empowering people and involvement in community service.  During her collegiate matriculation, Chelsi served in several student government leadership roles, the most distinguished being Miss Clark Atlanta University 2014-2015.  Balancing academics and extra-curricular activities she accumulated many honors and awards, including the Empowering Women: Campus Engagement Award, 2015 as well as membership in a host of honor societies: Alpha Kappa Mu, Phi Eta Sigma, and Golden Key National Honor Society.

Chelsi has a mission to M.O.G.U.L., Mentor on Girls Unique Level. Her platform and personal branding curriculum is designed to challenge girls through the power of entrepreneurship and value of education. The M.O.G.U.L. program is currently piloting at Walker Mill Middle School and she hopes to expand its impact within the D.C. public school system.  Chelsi Glascoe is committed to being a formidable change agent helping students transform idle potential into power through their God given purpose.

Graduate School Scholar + Future Media Mogul

Alexis Anginette Wells, the reigning Miss Black Missouri USA 2017 is a twenty- six-year-old from New Madrid, Missouri.  Alexis earned her B.S. in Journalism from Lincoln University of Missouri. She is currently a graduate student at Bowie State University obtaining her Master’s degree in Organizational Communications.  Her love for learning has motivated her to succeed in her educational goals as she strives to redefine the meaning of today's Black woman.  

The future international media mogul is passionate about philanthropy and enjoys giving back to her community through service.  An advocate for youth empowerment with an emphasis to show young women the importance of embracing their juvenescence as well as promoting a health body image and lifestyle.  

The pageant veteran and former campus queen at Lincoln University is multi-talented.  She sings, plays the flute and piano.  Alexis enjoys reading and spending time with family and friends. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Humanitarian + Health Advocate

Nalini Jones, is the reigning Miss Black Arizona USA 2017.  She is a National Collegiate Scholar at Arizona State University pursuing a bachelor degree in Business Law and Dance Education. The ambitious and talented humanitarian, strives to always display kindness, peace, and joy. When the books are closed Nalini works very hard to promote a tobacco free lifestyle to youth and young adults with Fresh Empire.  In addition, Nalini is a member of the Be Kind People Project, where she teaches kindness and positive self image to urban students through the art of dance.

For relaxation Nalini enjoys dancing, acting, traveling, and aerial silks.  Nalini’s life goals are to be a successful entrepreneur, that utilizes her gifts and talents to impact the lives of others.

From the Runway to the NFL End Zone

Melanie K. Watson is the reigning Miss Black Alabama USA 2017.  The 21 year old beauty is pursing a bachelor’s degree in Business Management at The Miles College. With the dedication to motivate and serve Melanie is currently starting her own business which will inspire young future business owners the platform to start becoming entrepreneur’s early. Melanie has been recognized for her scholarship including a spot in the honors curriculum program at Miles College and the opportunity to travel to two honors conferences for presentation competitions.  Melanie holds the president’s position for Phi Beta Lambda business fraternity and the National Pan Hellenic Council at Miles. 

The multi-talented jazz, pop, hip hop and ballet dancer also plays the symbols and the bass drum. She began dancing in elementary school and has enjoyed dancing the past 8 years.   Some of her other hobbies include cheerleading basketball, football, listening to music and serving the community.  Her service project home is the Woodlawn Foundation, but she renders her services to Miles College campus clean-up, Ronald McDonald, feed the homeless and many more.  Melanie’s platform B.E. S.T.R.O.N.G. which means Building Entrepreneurs Striving to Reach Our Next Generation is one of her biggest achievements towards being a successful business owner and motivating the next generations.  Upon earning her bachelor’s degree on May 6, 2017, she will start graduate school in the Fall of 2017, pursuing a master’s degree in Sports Management.  Melanie’s ultimate goal is to have a superdome built and ran under her leadership for a NFL team. Her Motto is: If you can’t B.E. S.T.R.O.N.G. then you can’t reach the End Zone!

You Know My Name But Not My Story

Madison Sampson is the reigning Miss Black North Carolina USA 2017.  Raised in the Queen City, Charlotte, North Carolina, Maddie is currently wrapping up her final semester in the Master of Public Affairs program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  Scholar, fitness she-ro and community organizer, Maddie launched her first community initiative browngirlFEARLESS while serving as an intern under the North Carolina Office of the Governor.  Maddie currently works as a Consultant for the state of North Carolina, assisting with diversity management projects.  She previously taught high school social studies for a semester in American Samoa, which lead to her passion for international travel.  

In her spare time, she can be found at the gym preparing for a fitness class or a 5K race.  Both are her fave ways to de-stress and take time for self-care.  Don't be surprised if you find her sky-diving, snorkeling, or pushing through 10+ miles of mud on an obstacle course.  As someone who lived homeless for a number of years, Maddie is inspired to motivate others to live fearlessly, no matter what life throws at them.  
 

My Black Is Beautiful

Unapologetic of her badness, Alexsis Brooks, the reigning Miss Black South Carolina USA is a 21 year old scholar at Trident Technical College.  The natural hair beauty was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina.  Upon earning her Associates degree, she plans to transfer to the College of Charleston where she will major in Biology.  The girl with a plan ultimately plans to become a Doctor in Dentistry.  

A leader of the 21st century says "Together, we can make a difference in our community". One woman can make a difference but together we can rock the WORLD!! 

Advocate for Change

Fatoumata Bayo, the reigning Miss Black Kansas USA 2017, from Warren, MI is a notable woman of distinction and alumna of the University of Kansas.  The 3-title pageant veteran earned a Bachelors in Chemistry and Psychology with an emphasis on pharmaceutical studies. Bayo won Student Organization Member of the Year at the Jayhawk Choice Awards for her work with the Black Student Union. She also received both the Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Nelson Mandela awards as a member of the Big 12 Council on Black Student Government.

Bayo currently works full-time as a Clinical Researcher for one of the largest Clinical Research Organizations.  She is also a Brand Ambassador for Kinitiative, a non-profit whose mission is to provide free and proper healthcare to women, while empowering and fostering the importance of education for girls in third world countries; a mission that aligns greatly with her platform.

She Slays On Script

In kindergarten her teacher told her to practice her handwriting because one day, she would be signing autographs.  Jessica Bronwen Hunter is the reigning Miss Black Colorado USA 2017. The 19-year-old actress and model is ready for the big screen.  

After graduating from The Classical Academy HS in 2015, she jumpstarted her acting career and moved to Los Angeles.  Recognizing that success takes hard work and discipline, the aspiring Oscar winner is also gainfully employed with a 5 star diamond rated resort.  

During her reign, Jessica hopes to inspire millennials to realize their self-worth and chase after the dreams that are burning in their hearts, not to conform to what the world tells you to do or be, but embrace who you are and are mean’t to be.  She is the youngest contestant in this year’s national pageant.

From the Rugby Field to the Runway

Keren Sita, the reigning Miss Black Vermont USA 2017 is using her voice to empower women on and off the field. The multilingual beauty speaks four languages:  English, Lagala, French and Swahili.  In high school, she played her first rugby game.  She played her first rugby game in her freshman year of high school.  She immediately fell in love with it. She was really scared at first to be tackled. Today, she's been able to transfer those skills off to the field to her everyday life.  She now knows that she can tackle anything that comes her way.  

After one season of playing, Keren tried out for the Vermont select side rugby team. She was selected and played for them for 3 summers.  They went on to win the New England Rugby Cup.   You can take the girl out of rugby, but you can't take the rugby out of the girl.  

Keren hopes to continue the sport at Spelman College where she plans to transfer and hopes to start a team.  Keren hopes to one day coach a high school team and doesn't plan on giving up the sport anytime soon.  She is still very much involved in the Rugby community, anytime there's a scrimmage or people want, if she's not making an appearance as Miss Black Vermont, you can find her there.  

Not one to sit still or be silenced, Keren is a proud member of the first ever Black Lives Matter movement in the state of Vermont.  She also belongs to the NAACP Vermont chapter, the .Association of Africans living in Vermont and the Vermont Youth Rugby Club. 

The Chemist And Her Secret Laboratory for Success

She's a dreamer, mentor, veteran, philanthropist, chemist, educator turned pageant queen.  Olivia Manning is the reigning Miss Black Delaware USA 2017!  Olivia is a recent graduate from a prestigious HBCU, where she earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Chemistry with a minor concentration in Theatre Arts.  

Olivia's platform is mental health awareness, which is often viewed as a stigma in the African American community.  Her platform promotes healing, encouraging, learning and preventing mental illnesses in children and adolescents. She is an active contributor to organizations that cater to mental health wellness and holistic treatment. She strives to create a much needed dialogue regarding mental health-related issues in her community. Her motto: "The mind is a terrible thing to waste."

She's A Dreamer. She's A Doer. She's An Environmentalist.

Shyla Lavalle-Bolden, the reigning Miss Black New Mexico USA 2017 was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  She is a first-generation scholar at the University of New Mexico with a double major in Public Communication and Africana Studies.

A student and environmental activist is a rising leader in the African American community.  Her lifetime aspiration is to be a voice for people, and to be able to affect social policies in a positive and progressive way. Service and sisterhood is an important aspect of Shyla’s life and she is a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated, where she has been able to achieve some of her personal career goals.  She also has a creative side and loves to dance, draw and enjoys spending time with family.

During her reign, she plans to highlight and raise awareness on climate control and the environment.  She is also a strong proponent and representative of Black excellence and is grateful for the opportunity to shine a light on her state and community.  Her motto is:  “Speak with intention,” and she plans to do just that.

Princess Warrior

After winning class president of her 5th grade class at Western Hills Elementary located in Little Rock, Arkansas, she knew she was born to lead.  Dasha Gray, the reigning Miss Black Arkansas USA 2017 and creative enjoys all things health, beauty and education.  She's currently employed full-time for the world's largest global provider dedicated to financial technology solutions. There, she is gaining valuable experience and life in the corporate world. 

Dasha was raised by her mother and grandmother, and has a strong passion to help others.  After earning her degree in Psychology, she plans to fulfill her purpose of empowering others to defeat triumphs and become who they were created to be.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and shopping.  

Dasha's platform is labeled "The Total Package", which encourages young women to put brains on a pedestal. Inspired by her own ability to overcome personal difficulties and reach goals that were considered unattainable, she is determined to get the message across to women, that with God, faith & a vision, they can achieve anything their heart desires. 

Huffington Post Blogger & Muse

Gabrielle Reed, the reigning Miss Black Michigan USA is a 19 year old young woman who is intent upon creating a better world with her pen. She is a writer, classically trained singer, Huffington Post blogger, entrepreneur, and activist. She recently added the title of author to her resume, as she just released her first book, a collection of poetry, called These New Eyes. She unknowingly started writing These New Eyes at the age of 17 during her freshman year of college to document her different experiences while dealing with depression. Then at the age of 19, she realized that the words she wrote could help other people find themselves and their own identities. 

During her reign, she is committed to raising awareness for mental health as well as social equality. She sees herself as being "crowned with class and consciousness"; showing young women of color that inner beauty, elegance, and intelligence never goes out of style. Inspired by God and her mother, she will succeed at whatever she does. 

Right now, she is a student at Lansing Community College, but her dream is to finish her college career at New York University to double major in the dramatic writing arts program and business marketing. Her end goal is to run her own entertainment and production company and bring fresh, diverse content to the big screen and the radio airwaves.  

When Activism + Beauty Meets

Justina Hawkins, the reigning Miss Black Nevada USA 2017 is a 20-year-old scholar at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  Upon earning her Bachelors in Psychology in the Spring of 2018, Justina plans to earn a PhD and specialize in the treatment of mood disorders within the young to middle aged population.   Justina is a member of not one, but two national honor societies.  The business savvy beauty minors in Marketing and plans to expand her future business endeavors into the cosmetics and apparel industry.  

The campus activist and student leader is a someone you need to know.  She currently holds the office of Vice President of New Member education within her chapter's honor society and slays in the classroom.   

Future Education Secretary

Darinisha Williams, the reigning Miss Black California USA 2017 is leaving no child behind.  The 24-year-old beauty is a strong advocate for change for children in the education system, especially children with disabilities.  Darinisha attends graduate school at California State University, Los Angeles, in the Masters in Counseling program specializing in School Psychology and will graduate in May 2017.

Currently working as a Behavioral Specialist for children with disabilities and a paraprofessional for a charter school, Darinisha plans to pursue a PsyD in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in multiculturalism.  Inspired by her younger brother with Autism, she plans to one day open her own agency to provide services for children with disabilities.