A week of Unity ends with pageant

Contestants let their inner beauty, energy and personality shine through every portion of this year's Unity Pageant, hosted by the Black Student Association.

Talisa Hopson, judge and former contestant, said the show was a 10 out of 10 and the crowd was wooed by the amazing talent. Contestants used elegance and grace to show how unity can make a better community.

Katrina Lunan-Gordon opened up the pageant this year.

"I have a dream. My dream is that every organization can come together and celebrate their differences." she said.

Lunan-Gordon said she also wanted to set the atmosphere with a sense that everyone can be united under one roof and for one reason no matter what their belief, background, age or race may be.

The contestants in this year's Unity Pageant were Autumn Ricketts, Tyler Edwards, Courtney Gainey, Adrienne Ross, Dairick Wade, Jordan Bennett-Barnes, Edward McGhee and Julian Scott.

The five different programs for contestants were introduction, two choreographed dances, personal talent and impromptu questions. Talents ranged from song and dance to art and poetry.

The dancers showed their capabilities of working with one another and their response to the impromptu questions showed their inner beauty.

Ross was asked what quality she thought every young lady should have. "Every young lady should have respect. If you don't respect yourself, nobody else will," she said.

It was obvious that every contestant had put hard work into their performance, but there could only be one queen and king.

Ricketts and Bennett-Barnes were announced as the Unity Pageant's Queen and King. Following close behind them for princess and prince were Gainey and Wade.

But being crowned Queen was not the only award Ricketts received that night. She also won Ms. Congeniality alongside Scott for Mr. Congeniality.

Ricketts' family shared their shocked emotions after the show. Her mother said Ricketts is usually a shy and private individual, but her character and inner beauty could not be hidden from the judges during the pageant.

The effectiveness of promoting unity at this year's pageant exceeded multicultural organizations' expectations, and last year's King of Unity Troy McElvaney left everyone with advice to take home.

"Remember to always promote unity," he said.



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