Daphne Co-Hosts IMF Comedy Live Pre-Show Event in L.A.

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Daphne was honored to Co-Host the Red Carpet for this year's International Myeloma Foundation Comedy Fundraiser in Los Angeles.  So excited to Co-Host this Saturday in Los Angeles, CA for the International Myeloma Foundation’s Silent Auction via Facebook. @imfmyeloma As many of Miss Black USA supporters may know, Daphne's mother has the bone-marrow blood cancer. This event meant so much to Daphne and she was honored to be able to fly out to the event with her mother.   Check her awesome night pics. 

Daphne Hits Red Carpet for Denim, Diamonds and Stars

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Daphne slayed on the Red Carpet at the Denim, Diamonds and Stars event in Los Angeles.  Meeting celebs, and donating to the @autismcareandtreatment and listening to stories of those impacted by autism was an awesome experience.  As Miss Black USA, she continues to focus on issues that affect the African American Community and raising awareness of issues that often go silent in our communities. Thanks to celebs like Toni Braxton and Holly Robinson-Pete, we know that autism does affect people of color and should be talked about

Daphne Talks Being a Black Ballerina With Natural Hair in Allure Interview

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Daphne Lee, the reigning Miss Black USA opens up with Allure Magazine on being a black ballerina at a time when they still make headlines, as Eurocentric body standards and industry racism continue to pervade the stage today.  Read the full article here.

Union Freeholder Board Honors Miss Black USA

The Union County Freeholder Board tonight honored the 2017 Miss Black USA--Daphne Lee--a Rahway resident and 26-year-old professional ballerina.

l. to r.  Freeholder Vernell Wright, Miss Black USA and Rahway resident Daphne Lee, Freeholders Linda Carter and Bette Jane Kowalski.

l. to r.  Freeholder Vernell Wright, Miss Black USA and Rahway resident Daphne Lee, Freeholders Linda Carter and Bette Jane Kowalski.

Daphne Judges Miss National Alumni Hall of Fame Queens Competition

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Daphne had the pleasure of Judging the final night competition of the National Alumni Hall of Fame Black Queens Competition in Atlanta.   The annual competition showcases the nation's most beautiful and intelligent HBCU College Queens.  At the end of the night, Crystal Brooks, Miss Fisk University won the coveted crown.  Daphne presented the winner with a pair of her custom ballet shoes.

Essential Read: Daphne Featured in The Lily

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Back in 1970, Harvard psychiatrist Chester Pierce coined the term “microaggression” to describe casual degradations toward people of color.

Today, the concept has broadened and includes other attributes of marginalized groups. Sexuality, body type, religion, class and education to name a few.

Daphne along with 7 other successful women from different walks of life talk about microaggressions they face. 

"8 women. 8 microaggressions. 8 'bullet wounds.'  How hidden biases do more than just sting.  Read here.

This Afro Latina is Making Major Moves: Yas Girl Yas!

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Leyanis Diaz, the reigning Miss Black Florida USA, Socialpreneur and Creator of the Major Marketplace is making major power moves.  

Major Marketplace is an online marketplace for minority businesses and those who want to support them! They are for the majority by the majority; the 99%. In wanting to support more minority businesses like you, they built this platform so that they could bring more buyers to you! They curate local and international products made by passionate creators, priding themselves in bridging conscious buyers to minority businesses in a major way. Unlike other marketplaces, they are ethical, empowering and most of all, invested in you!

And for more major news:  Major Marketplace was selected for StartUPFIU 's third cohort! Check out @majormarketplace, for #minoritybusinesses and those who want to support them! They're looking for #vendors! Go to http://majormarketplace.pagedemo.co/ to apply!

Why does race always have to be an issue? Miss Black Illinois Breaks It Down

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Why does race always have to be an issue? Why must there be a Miss BLACK pageant? Why must you all have separate schools (HBCUs)? Isn't that exclusion or a form of racism in itself? Why can't you all just get over slavery, it happened so long ago?

Why? Because after my ancestors were brought over unwillingly to a foreign place, abused, attacked, stripped of their identity, split from their families, their descendants still struggled and continue to struggle with finding a place in America. Why? Because I see more black women in the media who are publicly exploited or playing to a certain overt narrative than professional, successful, Godly black women. Why? Because we must form diversity and inclusion positions in the workplace, our own organizations, schools, hubs because we were never meant to be included in the majority, and laws and policies are being created daily to keep us out. Why? Because the same way we fight for equal rights with women (feminism), the LGBTQ community, and more, people of color continue to not be provided the same opportunities day after day, after day, after day. Why? Because the color of my skin creates a form of rhetoric that exists to incite fear and say I'm not worthy, I'm less than, and I don't deserve the same success as you. Why? Because the ideologies of naziism are still embraced in 2017. Why? Because we experience modern day public lynchings to black bodies by those who are paid to protect the communities we live in. Why? Because the economy and Wall Street were never meant for us, so we fight and kill each other to try and survive in an economy from which we cannot benefit. Why? Because you try being a person of color for a day. Why? Because in 2017 we still have to say, "the first black president," "the first black senator of...," "the first black ballerina," "A black CEO". Why? Because we've reached a point in time where we must stop fluffing over race issues in America. Racism is real and it's an ideology that is rooted in hate. No matter how you try to put it, it's indefensible and a domestic form of terrorism for those who experience it.

Yes, I'm part of a BLACK pageant system because of these things. I've learned through this process to fully love me - my culture, my skin, my people, my natural curly black hair, the natural shape of my body. I will no longer conform to societal pressures that try to cause me to be something I am not and create self-hate. I felt myself being pulled in that direction to satisfy and be accepted by others, and it completely brought me out of my natural element. I've learned I can walk anywhere with my head held high, and not have to worry about if I am pleasing to you. Why? Because I was created in God's image, made to be pleasing unto Him. You are not my God, and I will no longer dim my light for your comfort. And I hope I can continue to inspire others to do the same by walking in their truth and light as they continue to go after their many dreams.

As I enter into this last day of competing for the @missblackusa 2017 title, I am more prepared than ever to walk into any room with my head held high knowing I'm deserving of the same opportunities and experiences just as any other person. I've been inspired to continue making strides through civic and social works in Chicago, my nation, and other international entities. I will go on to pursue a Masters in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University so that I can join the work of those who fight for the representation and welfare of people of color daily. I will continue in my commitments to teaching young brown girls and boys that there is more to life than what immediately surrounds them in their communities through my work as an arts and education advocate.

Miss Black Georgia Struts for Sickle Cell Awareness Month

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September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month and we're here for all of it.  Shaunii Rawls, Miss Black Georgia USA 2017 is a Sickle Cell Warrior and the Creator of Strut for Sickle Cell Savannah.  Shaunii is on a mission and she's using her girl power to make a difference.  To keep up with Shaunii and learn more about this platform, email strutforsicklecell@gmail.com. 

Daphne's 1st Interview as Miss Black USA

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The newly crowned Miss Black USA Daphne Lee slayed her first interview after capturing the national crown with her predecessor Tonille Watkis.  The two beauties made a guest appearance on WJLA-ABC7 NewsChannel 8. The interview kicked off with Daphne and Tonille showing Hosts Adriana Hopkins, Kidd O'Shea and Larry Smith how to walk, wave and smile like Pageant girls.

Miss Black USA Announces The Empowerment Lipstick

Every day is National Lipstick Day at Miss Black USA.  We are proud to announce a new partnership with Lamik Beauty where beauty is revealed not applied.  Miss Black USA and Lamik Beauty launched the Empowerment Lipstick.  The new RED lipstick empowers women while supporting a good cause.  Proceeds from the sale each lipstick are donated to the Miss Black USA Scholarship Fund.

To date, Miss Black USA has awarded over $450,000 in scholarships to its participants. To purchase the empowerment lipstick, go to www.lamik-beauty.com.  


 

Judges Announced for Miss Black USA 2017

The finals night Judges for Miss Black USA 2017 have been selected.  In the hot seat, this year is Stevie Baggs Jr.  If this charming smile looks familiar, millions saw him as the Bachelor on WE-TVs Match Made in Heaven. Like our Miss Black USA Queens, this King is more than his good looks with a career as a three-time All-American linebacker, playing in both the NFL and CFL, for teams including the Baltimore Ravens, Arizona Cardinals, Saskatchewan Roughriders, and Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Drawing from his experience in professional sports, Stevie Baggs Jr. has dedicated time in his career to empowering youth and adults as an impactful inspirational speaker. Stevie can be spotted on the big screens having worked alongside Will Smith in the movie "Focus." You will see him in the Ang Lee film "Billy Lynn's Long Half-Time Walk". Recognized as the only athlete to play for eleven professional teams in ten years, nicknamed "Shakespeare", he continues to inspire and make plays off the field. In his bestselling book, "Greater than the Game," and now in the hot seat.

Joining Stevie is Ocielia Gibson, an award-winning young women’s specialist, speaker, author, and minister at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas. She is the founder of More Than a Pretty Face International, a life-enrichment company which has impacted young women throughout the US and Kenya. Named an Unsung Hero by EBONY Magazine, Ocielia is a graduate of Texas Woman’s University and currently pursuing her Masters in Theological Studies at Southwestern Theological Seminary. In 2011, she became the first woman from Texas to be crowned Miss Black USA. Her first book, More Than Pretty: Defining Beauty Through the Lens of Scripture, is available in Christian bookstores nationwide, Amazon and at Ocielia.com.

 

Last, but not least is Dr. Myla Bennett.  Defying all odds, Dr. Myla Bennett has become one of the most sought after female plastic surgeons on the East Coast. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University Medical Center and has been featured in both national and international publications and networks including JET Magazine, NBC, Black Enterprise, Bravo Television Network, Radio One, WEtv, and much more. Dr. Myla Bennett is the owner of Ederra Bella Plastic Surgery and Medical Spa®, and the founder of both the Preserve Your Pretty® and Preserve Your Handsome™ brands. She has had the opportunity to work with celebrity and influential clients throughout her career and she will be in the hot seat.  Tickets can be purchased online at Eventbrite.