In photo: Miss black USA executives, judges, Pageant winner Madison Gibbs & K Michael pose for media.
Washington DC: August 2015 - designer brand Forever K Michael Collection and prestigious distributor NYS Collection teamed up to sponsor the Miss Black USA Pageant in our nations capital, Washington, DC.
The pageant brought some of the nations most beautiful African American women from across the States. This was the second time that FKM has product sponsored the event but the first time his entire team was there to attend all of festivities.
"Contributing to such a prestigious event where these young, phenomenal ladies strive to make a difference has been an honor for us, and working with Karen whose leadership inspires us all has been a privilege." - K Michael
BUILDING A LEGACY...
Howard University First Year Law Student, Madison Gibbs, captured the coveted title of Miss Black USA 2015. The North Carolina scholar says, “I entered the pageant for the scholarship money.” To date, Miss Black USA has awarded over $300,000 in scholarships to its contestants.
Miss Black USA is the largest pageant for women of color. The pageant-turned-movement was founded by success coach, international philanthropist and award-winning women’s empowerment expert,Karen Arrington. She has been recognized by the Lifetime Network, Jones New York and was a Woman’s Day Magazine Red Dress Honoree along with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and Olympic Gold Medalist Dayna Vollmer for her advocacy work on raising awareness of heart disease, the #1 killer of women. The modern day Maya has personally mentored over 1,000 young woman and contributed over 100,000 hours of service. She is also a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
In 2007, Miss Black USA held their national pageant in Banjul, The Gambia, West Africa, where Alex Hailey filmed “Roots”. This was a significant milestone for Miss Black USA. It was a royal journey to the Motherland and redefined what it meant to be a Black woman. The contestants were hosted in the country for three weeks, all expenses-paid. A police motorcade of Hummer limousines awaited the ladies arrival on the airport tarmac. It was life-changing, says Arrington.
Kalilah Allen-Harris, M.D. who represented Tennessee captured the coveted title of Miss Black USA under the African sky. She won a full tuition scholarship to cover her entire medical school education along with a $20,000 cash award. She is now a successful actress living in Los Angeles. She has guest starred on Nashville, Survivor’s Remorse , Meet the Browns and appeared in a host of national TV commercials.
Every year, black beauty wins at Miss Black USA. “When you are sub culture, it’s important to have your own reward system,” says Arrington. You don’t have to have to conform to European standards of beauty to be celebrated.
AND THE WINNER IS...
The 2015 Miss Black USA Winner, North Carolina scholar, Madison Gibbs says, “I wanted to be a part of this movement so that little Black girls could see someone who looks like them achieve greatness”, says Gibbs.
Madison will use her reign to promote the Heart Truth campaign to raise awareness about heart disease and how it affects women of color. She will also promote awareness around mental health in partnership with DC based, Contemporary Family Services and address the stigmas attached to mental health in the African American community.
Madison has a full plate this year and will be walking the catwalk during Ghana Fashion Week in Accra, Ghana.
While we live in an era where a Black family occupies the White House, Arrington remains steadfast in her desire to raise the profile of young, gifted Black women on American screens and magazines. “The negative images often portrayed of women of color is not our reality” says Arrington. We have young African American women who are in their 20’s who are practicing attorneys, physicians, scientists, yet I don’t see these images when I turn on the television.
Madison Gibbs is a native of Greensboro, NC. In May 2015, she received her Bachelors of Arts degree in Speech Communications from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. She is currently furthering her education as a first year law student at Howard University School of Law, where she graduated magna cum laude. Madison is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, INC, a Delta G.E.M.S mentor (growing and empowering myself successfully), a big sister with Big Brother Big Sister of the Central Piedmont area and served as an after school teacher at Triad Math and Science Academy.
TEAM FKM: BLACK EXCELLENCE
Alonzo Bosher, Dominique Hamilton, K Michael Miss Black USA Executive, Amara Bunyavong, & J Javon pose for media
Forever K Michael vibes with an contestant
Sean Anthony and Madison Gibbs
A candid shot of Team Forever K Michael
What's Next With K Michael?
A New Cover Feature 2016
The 1st Quarter of 2016 Forever K Michael & his entire leading team of 5 years-will grace the cover of ISE magazine Worldwide. This will be FKM's 3rd cover feature in 4 years.