Asya Branch, a senior at the University of Mississippi majoring in integrated marketing communications, was the winner of the Miss USA pageant recently held in Memphis, Tennessee. She was the first African American to win the title of Miss Mississippi and the first woman from Mississippi to wear the Miss USA crown. As Miss USA she will compete for the title of Miss Universe 2021.
“I’m a naturally positive person who tries to shed light and make a difference everywhere I go,” Branch said. “I want to encourage people to uplift one another. Together, we can change our country for the better.”
Her platform involves empowering children of parents who are in prision. Branch’s father has been in prison since she was 10 years old.
“Being a child with an incarcerated parent takes a negative toll, with the stigmas that surround it,” Branch said. “There’s emotional distress, financial instability and so many questions about why a parent isn’t there.”