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In a daring move that will go down as one of the boldest moves in pageant history, Emily Sioma won the hearts of all. The beauty queen contestant for Miss America representing Michigan stole the show and won the hearts of the crowd even though she didn’t take the crown home. The Miss America crown was won by Nia Iman Franklin who represented New York on September 9, 2018, in Atlantic City.
In the first year that the contest did not feature any swimsuits, each contestant was given about eight to ten seconds to introduce themselves, providing answers to basic questions about their name, state, and education. Sioma, who is a native of Michigan representing her state and a graduate of the University of Michigan was not going to settle for the usual.
You would think you have heard it all until the introduction of Miss Michigan takes a different turn that has never been experienced. The contestant unconventionally communicated the Flint water crisis and her name in one sentence without missing a beat when she was given the floor for her introduction:
“From the state with eighty-four percent of the U.S. freshwater but none for its residents to drink, I am Miss Michigan Emily Sioma”
For about four years, the town has faced water crisis as a result of the contamination of Flint’s water supply by lead following the switch of the city’s main water source from the Detroit system to the Flint River as a cost-cutting measure. The Flint crisis was declared an emergency for public health in 2015 when high levels of lead were found in the water which further poisoned the water. Four years later, the water still remains unsafe to drink.
An activist, Emily did not waste her moment in the spotlight but threw bold light on a problem that had caused serious health challenges for her people. Water contaminated by lead can lead to brain damage in young children and is dangerous to the health of pregnant women, often leading to miscarriages. Amazingly, her message delivery was perfect and in seconds–thrusting the Flint water situation in front of the world once again.
This unconventional introduction has made waves and has been shared widely on social media platforms, especially Twitter, with fans praising the contestant for her brave attempt to bring about a social change. Fans are calling it the most “badass intro” of all time and this move has earned her a lot of online admiration.
24-year-old Sioma said that she used her platforms to support causes and create awareness about sexual assault especially since she is a survivor and emphasizes that activism is a major part of who she is. When asked why she made the bold move at the pageant, Emily had this to say, “I just had this moment thinking, how am I going to make this moment meaningful?”
Sioma intends to use every opportunity she gets to speak about the water crisis in her state until something is done to ensure there is safe drinking water for residents of the area and citizens of the state.