Developed in 2008 by Sonja McCord, the Miss Black United States program exists to provide personal and professional opportunities for young women to promote their voices in culture, politics and the community. It provides a forum for today’s young women to express their perspectives, talents and triumphs to the community-at-large through Miss Black United States TV, The Official Miss Black United States Blog, the national telecast, and other local and national media outlets during her reign. Almost all contestants have either received, or are in the process of earning college or postgraduate degrees, and utilize Miss Black United States network to further their goals, both professionally and educationally.
The Miss Black United States Program was fully envisioned in 2008 in direct response to the successful election of the first black President Barack Obama. As President Obama embarked on his first year in the White House, our founder, Sonja McCord, was working tirelessly to create a pageant system that would serve as a social enterprise, and an enrichment program that would create a new generation of promising Black American leaders. Several years later, the Miss Black United States Program was officially launched in 2016.
The concept of Miss Black United States goes beyond the pageant itself. This is a program which seeks to provide social leadership, development, and enrichment through an institute of learning. We are creating leaders who are problem solvers, accomplished, and polished; moreover, we are providing measurable results on the state and national level. Every year, 51 young women are trained in advocacy, leadership, etiquette, professionalism, entrepreneurship, communications, fitness, and health. We are training leaders and providing them with the support to achieve their educational, professional, artistic, and community ambitions. The concept is simple: Empowering Others, While Empowering Ourselves™.
Furthermore, the Miss Black United States Program has adopted the national platform of tackling social, economic, and educational disparities faced by Black Americans—in particular, the disturbing rates and growing prevalence of HIV/AIDS and Heart Disease.
In 2017, we will inaugurate the first Miss Black United States pageant, culminating the conclusion of a rigorous enrichment program and celebrating the accomplishments of 51 innovative, experienced, and empowered leaders. At that time, we will tally up measurable results of the Miss Black United States Program; determining our impact across the United States and added value to the world.
We envision, the Miss Black United States Organization to become one of the nation’s leading achievement programs and the world’s largest provider of educational, financial, and seed awards for young women. In the coming years, we will make a significant stride towards strengthening the black community and empowering our nation. Simply stated, tackling black issues and strengthening the black community will help reinvigorate America, overall.
The Miss Black United States Program exists not as a means to exclude non-African American citizens. We are a cultural organization created to solve America’s most pressing problems that directly impact the African American/Black population. We are reversing negative trends, celebrating black beauty, empowering young black leaders, and working to overcome social and economic disparities in the black community. We are training African American leaders who are impacting the lives of all cultures and all Americans.
Whereas beauty queens of the past may have spent their year of service signing autographs in local drugstores for one of the pageant’s sponsors, Miss Black United States is in great demand as a speaker before legislative bodies, civic and national service organizations and prestigious bodies of the nation’s news media.
During this inaugural year, Miss Black United States state and local titleholders, along with the Organization’s network of volunteers, will participate in more than 8,000 community service projects, providing in excess of 350,000 service hours to worthy causes. As a result, each of our Miss Black United States Queens will become a powerful, visible and credible spokeswoman for issues ranging from HIV prevention programs to programs in support of improving the foster care system.
The Miss Black United States Program provides young women with a vehicle to further their personal and professional goals and instills a spirit of community service throughout the nation that will mark its legacy in America and the world.