Citing a number of social initiatives that she was part of, beauty queen Nina Davuluri said one of the things she learned as Miss America was “entertainment and advocacy” go hand in hand.
Speaking at a panel discussion hosted by Indiaspora, on January 3, the Syracuse, NY,-born Davuluri said she has had “an incredible three years” traveling as Miss America. “But I think the number one thing that I learned is that — of course I’ve had a great platform — the entertainment and advocacy really go hand in hand.”
The Miss America 2014 talked about the issue that is closest to her heart. “My platform is called celebrating diversity through cultural competency, and that was something I founded almost eight years ago — it wasn’t something that I just decided to promote when I woke up as Miss America, and said ‘I’m going to promote diversity now.”
Davuluri recalled her experience traveling to India on a 10-day tour as part of the Girl Rising India campaign to promote diversity and women’s empowerment, “specifically education of the girl child.”
She recalled talking to students of a Vijayawada run by her grandmother.
“This was something that was most rewarding because my grandmother founded a school — or I should say acquired a school in the 1930s in the rural town of Vijayawada — and in the past 60 years, she turned that school into an institution and a college and university, specifically for women,” Davuluri said. “And so to go back there as a former Miss America and speak to these young ladies that, because of my grandmother, because of my mother and her dream to come to America, you know anything really is possible with the power of… education. And I think that really resonated with those young girls to see someone like that.”
Watch Davuluri’s speech