Alumna Crowned Ms. Black America

Tara Sanders

A Redlands graduate has been crowned Miss Black California, giving her the opportunity to represent the state at the Miss Black USA Pageant in August.

Tara Dale Sanders, who graduated from Redlands in 2006 with a degree in sociology and anthropology, won the state competition in November, beating out 23 other contestants. Sanders is now a graduate student at Cal State Chico, where she is working on a master’s degree in social science.

She also hopes she can encourage young people, particularly those from low-income families, to go to college and to pursue careers.

“I want to show that this is what a contemporary woman who wins a pageant looks like,” Sanders told the North County Times newspaper. “There are so many layers to us.”

This is not Sanders’ first pageant win. In 2002, she was crowned Miss Teenage California and Miss Teen of the Nation.

The annual Miss Black USA pageant, which will be held in Ghana, is open to women between the ages of 17 and 27. Contestants compete in private interviews, talent, evening gown, swimsuit and on-stage interview events.

The Miss Black U.S.A. pageant was founded by Karen Arrington in 1986. The organization provides scholarships to winners, and also has a number of health initiatives, including programs designed to increase awareness of the dangers of heart disease and obesity.

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