It’s currently pageant week at the Mecca and this year’s theme—The Howard Renaissance—took us back in time.
Tuesday September 12, the Cathy Hughes School of Communications pageant treated us to opening night at the Cotton Club as students competed to become the next Miss and Mr. School of Communications. Ultimately, Miana Massey and Brandon Allen were crowned. Contestants showcased their best selves in pursuit of proving to the audience, and more importantly the judges, why they are fit to represent the School of Communications on the Royal Court.
Miana, a junior public relations major from Baltimore, Maryland, ran her sophomore year, but did not take the title. After a semester spent studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, came back with a plan and ready to put in the work to take the crown this year.
Brandon, a sophomore legal communications major from, Detroit, Michigan. This is Brandon’s second title after serving as Mr. Freshman last year.
“If you really put in the work, everything works out; everything comes through,” said Massey.
The judges of the pageant included: Dr. Frederick Kendrick, a professor within the School of Communications; Nathalie Smith, Howard alumna and entrepreneur; and Victoria Gray, a recent Howard alumna, former Miss Howard, and former Miss School of Communications.
The night kicked off with introductions where the contestants showed us who they were and sold us their platforms.
Miana’s platform, “Global” is an initiative to get more Howard students to study abroad. While in Zimbabwe, she wrote the newsletter for an orphanage that will be a part of her platform.
“As African- Americans, we don’t really take those opportunities, and students don’t realize that it is a lot of times cheaper than it is a semester at Howard,” said Massey.
Other initiatives in her platform include fundraising, application drives where students get together and fill out study abroad applications and a mentorship program between students who have study abroad and students that want to study abroad.
Brandon’s platform, “Reclaiming Her Time,” (shout out to Auntie Maxine) was inspired by his late mother. His mother instilled in him a drive and passion for success not for personal gratification, but to inspire others. She also taught Brandon the importance of respecting everyone you encounter. During the pageant when he was explaining his platform, Brandon prompted all of the women in the audience to proclaim that we are “Reclaiming our time” and for the men in the audience to verbally let us know that they support us.
“Recently, noticing a lack of respect for that the sexes have for one another in a college environment, I decided [that there] needed to be some change.”
Initiatives in Brandon’s platform include, a series of masterclasses, empowerment lunches and healthy debates that will work to defy traditional gender roles and strengthen the relationship between men and women within the School of Communications.