The Miss Universe Organization MUO is a global, inclusive organization that celebrates women of all cultures and backgrounds and empowers them to realize their goals through experiences that build self- confidence and create opportunities for success. The Miss Universe Organization empowers women to realize their personal, professional and philanthropic goals through experiences that build self-confidence and act as catalysts for future success. The contestants and titleholders that have gone through the Miss Universe system are able to cultivate their personal career goals, advocate for humanitarian issues and be a voice to affect positive change in the world. These women are forward thinking and motivated to not just talk about this change, but to initiate it.
But the reality is, it actually shouldn't be all that surprising. Though Miss America was founded in , by —smack dab in the middle of the civil rights movement—Miss Black America was created in protest of the fact that the pageant had never chosen a Black winner. And it wouldn't be until nearly two decades later that changed, with Vanessa Williams taking the crown in Cheslie makes me so proud. Of course, as with anything, there are the critics who choose to voice their befuddlement on social media, asking the question: Why does this matter? Why does everything always have to be about race? Luckily, Franklin, our current Miss America, has the perfect answer. Do we need to still count?
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And I think it showcases diversity as well. So I think this celebration or this landmark should we celebrated, but it's also a reminder we have a lot to do," Kryst said. As an attorney in North Carolina, Kryst practices civil litigation and also represents prisoners in pro-bono work. Miss Teen USA Kaliegh Garris, who ignored advice and proudly wore her natural curls in the competition to inspire self-confidence, said seeing this kind of representation "means a lot" to her.
Pageants often get a bad rap for being regressive leftovers from a different time. While some of that criticism is fair, the organizations that run them have made changes in recent years to become more modern. Case and point: the elimination of the swimsuit competition at Miss America. And there's no question that their reach is still enormous, with competitions running in all 50 states and in countries around the world. Franklin told the New York Times in May. But race does matter in America, because of the history, because of slavery.