The Miss Ebony Scholarship Pageant, which has been a part of Indiana State University since 1970, is hosted by the Black Student Union, which was founded in 1968. The Miss Ebony Scholarship Pageant is not a beauty pageant, but rather a platform for young women to showcase their talents and improve their public speaking skills. The pageant is open to all female students at Indiana State University, including transgender women and nonbinary people. The only requirements to enter are to have an undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or higher, and to be in good academic and judicial standing with the University.

There are five categories that contestants will be scored on, in descending order of percentage: talent, private interview, evening attire, interview attire, and on-stage questions. In the talent portion, the contestants may choose any talent to demonstrate to the audience and the judges, such as singing, dancing or reciting a monologue. The private interview involves a conversation between the contestant and judges, in which the judges are able to get to know the contestant better. The clothes that the contestant wears will also be judged and should be both professional and reflective of their personality. The evening attire will be evaluated based on how well the fit color, and style suits the contestant, as well as their on-stage presentation. Finally, the contestant will be asked one question onstage during the competition by the host.

The first place winner will be titled this year’s Miss Ebony and receive a $1,500 scholarship. The second place contestant will receive $750 in scholarship money, and third place will receive a $500 scholarship. There are also pageant recognitions that contestants can earn: Miss Congeniality, Audience Choice, and the Talent Award. Miss Congeniality is selected by fellow contestants. The Audience Choice award is based on donations for the contestant’s selected platform. The Talent Award goes to the contestant with the highest score awarded during the pageant.

The Miss Ebony Scholarship Pageant is a wonderful opportunity for the young women of Indiana State University to improve their public speaking and presentation skills, but also to meet some wonderfully talented people and make new friends. The pageant can also help young women find confidence in their bodies and their voices. To earn the title of Miss Ebony opens up a myriad of doors including workshops and networking opportunities that will help with future career endeavors.

For anyone who would like to participate or learn more about the Miss Ebony Scholarship Pageant, they can go to https://www.indstate.edu/student-affairs/msp/programs/miss-ebony. There is also an informational meeting on April 9 over Zoom, where people can get more personalized answers. Good luck to all of the lovely up and coming women who will participate in the 2021 Miss Ebony Scholarship Pageant!