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OCA Celebrates Changing Face of America in Miss America Pageant

Monday, September 16, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kham Moua
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OCA Celebrates Changing Face of America in Miss America Pageant


16 September 2013


Tom Hayashi | Executive Director

202 223 5500 |

WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates, a national membership driven organization dedicated to advancing the political, social, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs), celebrates Nina Davuluri’s victory as the first Indian American to be crowned Miss America last night during the Miss America Pageant.

Three of the top five contestants during this year’s pageant were of Asian Pacific American descent: Miss California, Crystal Lee; Miss Minnesota, Rebecca Yeh; and Miss New York, Nina Davuluri. Miss California was awarded the title of first runner up, and Miss Minnesota was given the title of fourth runner up.

"This is a historic event for the APA community. For the first time, three of the five finalists are APA. They represent not only the diversity found within our community but also the changing face of the American public,” says Tom Hayashi, OCA Executive Director, "As the first Indian American to win the title of Miss America, Ms. Davuluri challenges the misconception that Americans are one monolithic group. Her success shows that we come in all shapes, all sizes, and all races.”

Despite some negative reactions to her victory, Davuluri rises above the distasteful comments by continuing to redefine standards of Americanism stating that she has "always viewed myself as first and foremost American.” In a video for the Miss New York website, she states that "I’m on a mission. Miss America has always been the girl next door. But Miss America is evolving. And she’s not going to look the same anymore.” Her success and response to her critics reaffirms her resolution to this issue.

"Ms. Davuluri’s commitment to evolving the image of Miss America to reflect diverse young women demonstrates strong leadership and foresight into the changing demographics of our country,” says Sharon M. Wong, OCA President, "As an advocacy organization, we are extremely proud of her achievements and support her as an ambassador of our community and the Miss America Pageant.

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