Next Stop Miss Black California
SDM: What inspired you to run for Miss Black California?
JG: First let me start out by saying that the title of Miss Black California USA is the gateway to the national title of Miss Black USA whose mission is to provide a national stage for its participants to showcase their unique talents and beauty and win scholarship opportunities. My inspiration to compete in Miss Black California USA 2018, or in any pageant system overall, is rooted in the core values I hold. As a titleholder in any pageant system, you are given a platform to represent and incorporate change within your community and the world. As Miss Black California USA 2018 and soon to be Miss Black USA (claiming victory now), I am the voice for those that are often silenced. The simple idea of representing marginalized groups of the United States, inspires me to compete for Miss Black California. Women of color are one of the largest marginalized groups in present-day American society due to our depiction in media, entertainment, professional fields, etc. By simply making the decision to compete in Miss Black California USA, I am a positive light for women of color; that is what inspires me.
SDM: What, if any, do you think your responsibility is as Miss Black California to other young ladies especially young ladies whom identify with you?
JG: It is important to note that we ALL obtain a sense of responsibility to the younger generations, not simply Miss Black California USA 2018 or any other public figure. However, as a public figure, this responsibility is highlighted. In simple terms my responsibility to other young ladies, specifically young ladies who identify with myself, is to be a positive light to young women, guiding them into becoming a “well-rounded” woman and leader in their community.
SDM: What are your 5 year dreams, ambitions, and desires for change in the African American / Black community?
JG: The African American community is currently in a state of crisis: our Black men have a target on their backs, our families are falling apart, we consume the majority of the population on Skid Row in Los Angeles, CA, etc. Yes, we as a community have come a long way from our horrific past. However, we still have a long way to go. In 5 years, it is my dream to see the African American community fulfilling more positions in higher education, elite careers and strong positive political leaders. In 5 years, it is my dream to see the African American community no longer the oppressed of American society but rather recognized as stronger contributors within the society that affect the economy greatly; the majority and not the minority.
SDM: What advice would you give to a young lady who chooses to follow your path?
JG: I would tell a young lady who would love to follow in my path to stay rooted in herself, to be confidentially beautiful. In any competitive field, such as the one I have chosen, (1) people attempt to “groom” you into the person you “should” become or (2) you feel as though you need to change yourself to “compete” with others. We are each uniquely made and that is more than enough for any competitive field. I would also re-enforce that hard work and dedication pays off, but you must stay consistent in your journey. Furthermore, I will tell her that it is important to have a strong positive supportive team because this journey is like any other sport (NBA, NFL, etc), it take a strong team to win and this does not necessarily mean winning the “crown” because this journey provides so many more winning advantages that will shape you to be a strong leader in your community.