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Interview with Ms. US World 2019 – Akela Douglass

Firstly thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions about your pageant journey for my pageant lockdown project, it’s lovely getting to know fellow pageant queens and more about the systems that they represent.

What made you enter pageants ?

My classmate in high school was a titleholder and invited me to join the Miss Black Teen Sacramento pageant. I had no experience at all. I was just having fun. Surprisingly I won!

Previous titles

Miss Black Teen Sacramento 1999 Miss Sacramento USA 2002 Miss Black Sacramento 2003 Miss Earth Golden State 2009 Miss Black Colorado USA 2010 Miss Sacramento United States 2012 Ms. California The Pageant 2013 Ms. West Coast World 2018 Ms. California World 2019 Ms. US World 2019

What made you decide to compete in the Ms. World System ?

I loved the pageant’s mission of diversity and inclusion. I love pageants, but I took a long break because I was constantly being disappointed in my results because I didn’t fit a certain mold. The Ms. World organization truly is for ALL women. Size, height, color, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation don’t matter. It is a true sisterhood.

What the best thing that pageants have taught you ?

I have learned so much from pageants, but if I had to pick one it would be my confidence in interviewing and public speaking.

What’s your pageant platform and why ?

My personal platform is B.A.M ( Be A Mentor). I feel like it is important for us as role models to help guide future generations. I am currently a ‘Big” for Big Brothers Big Sisters and it has truly changed my life.

The Ms. World pageant also has a national platform where we support NOWSA (National Organization for Women’s Safety Awareness). Unfortunately almost every woman as experienced some level of verbal, physical, or sexual abuse. Our mission is to spread awareness, and help women and young girls to see the signs of abuse and defend themselves.

What’s your dream title?

I am actually competing for my dream title Ms. World this October in Las Vegas!

If you were to win Ms. World what would it mean to you ?

Winning Ms. World will really tie everything that I love together. Pageants, mentoring, and international travel. It would also give me great pride to finally achieve something that I have been working so hard towards all of these years.

What’s the best advice you have for fellow pageant queens ?

Be authentic. Be the same woman that you are off stage that you are onstage.

What have you been doing in the run up to your pageant final ?

Before COVID-19 I challenged myself to do as many appearances as possible to represent the Ms. US World organization. Since we aren’t currently able to do in person appearances, I am trying to stay active on social media to keep our followers and potential contestants engaged.

What’s your favourite ever appearance ?

Recently while on vacation I was able to do appearances in Accra, Ghana with the reigning Miss Ghana. We visited a children’s hospital and later attended a block party fundraiser for an awesome organization called BASICS International, which is an after-school program in a very poor village in Chokor, Ghana. All of the children were just pure joy.

How has the lockdown due to COVID19 effected your pageant journey ?

Like I mentioned it has definitely put a damper on in-person appearances, but we are still staying engaged virtually, and it will not stop me from preparing for Ms. World!

Has your reign been extended due to COVID19?

Not as of yet. Our pageant is currently scheduled for November 14-16, 2020 in New Orleans so we are hopeful that all will be well by then.

What makes a good pageant role model ?

Someone who is genuine, and truly passionate about their work as a titelholder. It’s not just a crown, it is a job.

What’s your favourite pageant round ?

Interview

How do you deal with pageant nerves ?

I drink champagne while getting ready

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions about your pageant journey it’s been lovely getting to you better. I wish you all the best at Ms World in November. Much love, Charlotte Ms Diamond South Yorkshire 2020.

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