Tiara Pennington makes history by becoming Miss University of Alabama
With this win, she is automatically in the preliminary running to become Miss Alabama this summer.
By Malia Davis
Tiara Pennington, a sophomore at the university, has made history by becoming the first black Miss University of Alabama.
Pennington has been involved in pageants and associated with the Miss America Organization since she was a girl. With this win, she is automatically in the preliminary running to become Miss Alabama this summer.
Pennington said she is honored to be the first black Miss UA because she realizes that many black women have come before her who have worked hard to make her dream a reality.
Being the new Miss UA can be a lot of pressure , but Pennington said she does not feel any pressure with this new role. She actually has been comfortable in the new position because of all the support she has been getting.
“I don’t feel any pressure because I can only be myself and be the best Miss UA I can be,” Pennington said. “I have been so thankful to have a loving pageant family and friend community that just wants me to succeed.”
Students say they feel like having a black Miss UA is progress for the university and pushes for more diversity and inclusion on campus.
“I think that it is good for UA as a whole,” said Amber Greene, a senior at the university. “It opens doors for others who may feel like they never had a chance.”
Others are excited about the new Miss UA and feel like having a black Miss UA should have happened already but think this will ultimately help the university.
“It’s definitely something that should’ve happened a long time ago, but I’m happy they’re making a push for black people to be recognized at UA,” said Peyton Bowman, a former UA student. “This could allow other channels to be addressed when it comes to the black student environment on campus.
As the newest Miss UA, Pennington is determined to spread the message that the Miss America Organization is more than a pageant in the Tuscaloosa area. She explained how this organization gives many young women the opportunity to further their education and how it is important to many young women’s lives.
“I have earned over $190,000 in scholarship money and after winning the title of Miss UA I gained another full year including books” Pennington said.
She is also determined to have a prominent role in Tuscaloosa and many surrounding areas. Pennington is a committee member, community ambassador, and student ambassador recruiter on the Eastern Advocacy Action Network team with the National Psoriasis Foundation, and also the Founder of Psoriasis Take Action Alabama. One of her main goals is to discover a cure for psoriatic diseases.
If you are interested in learning more about the Psoriasis Take Action campaign,visit Pennington’s Psoriasis Take Action Facebook page or visit www.psoriasistakeactionalabama.com.