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November 16, 2020

Asya Branch — Quick Facts about Life and Victory of Miss Mississippi USA Who Became Miss USA 2020

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Mississippi’s Asya Branch was crowned as Miss USA on November 10, 2020, but there's a lot more to this Southern Belle than just a pretty face.

Asya Branch breaks the mold. Yes, she's beautiful, as beautiful or maybe even more so than any other Miss USA before her, but she's been crowned at a time of conflict when being beautiful isn't enough.

Throughout the pageant, audiences got to know a little about Asya. Asya wants to change the world, but she knows why it needs changing because she's lived where it's broken.

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MEET MISS USA

When Mississippi’s Asya Branch talks about making the world a better place she has concrete plans and a starting point. She is in all respects a Miss USA for the new era.

This year's pageant was held under difficult conditions, with the COVID-19 pandemic demanding the constant use of facemasks by the contestants and social distancing, but Asya managed to outshine 50 other beautiful young women and win the coveted tiara.

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FIRST BLACK WINNER FROM MISSISSIPI

Asya is the 11th Miss Mississipi to be crowned Miss USA -- but she is also the first Black Miss Mississipi to have won the pageant. Considering that Mississipi's population is 40% Black, the numbers are worrying.

The University of Mississippi student is also the fourth African American woman ever to be crowned Miss Mississipi in the pageant's 86-year history. Her Miss USA win follows that of another Black woman, Cheslie Kryst, who at 28 was the oldest winner ever.

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AT-RISK YOUTH

Asya is passionate about helping at-risk youth, and she was one herself, not so long ago. The 22-year-old grew up with her father in prison, and that has inspired her to launch a project: “Finding Your Way: Empowering Children of Incarcerated Parents.” Asya said:

“I grew up as the child of an incarcerated parent. [...]  I learned that incarceration is a shared family sentence.”

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Asya is determined that the pain and hardships she's gone through will help her to make a difference for other children and other families, and she is an advocate for prison reform. She said:

“I’m grateful for the hardships that I faced because [...] made me a voice for the unheard.”

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On a lighter note, Asya loves dogs and has two pooches, a chihuahua named Jonas, and a mixed breed named Titan to whom she is devoted. 

The stunning Miss USA is also a big fan of Ben&Jerry's ice cream and her favorite flavor is Half Baked -- chocolate and vanilla ice cream with chunks of chocolate chip cookies and fudge brownies. Beauty, smarts, and great taste, who can argue with that...

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