After a break in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Miss Ebony Scholarship Pageant is returning this November!

Unlike a traditional “beauty pageant,” Miss Ebony is all about allowing young women to showcase their best qualities. They show off their personal talents, take place in a personal interview, and showcase their formal evening wear. It is also a way for the women to work on their confident public speaking skills, and to showcase their ability to present themselves with grace and poise. The pageant also provides a way to assist these women in their educational goals.

“I am excited about the entire experience; I love it,” said Elonda Ervin, director of Multicultural Services and Programs, “I enjoy seeing these young ladies make friends and keep those friends for years to come.”

Any woman may enter the Scholarship Pageant, but there are a few requirements. For starters, they must be a female student that is currently enrolled at Indiana State University. The applicants must also have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5, either at the University or from their high school (for freshmen).

The contestants are judged on five categories, each having a different weight towards their final scores. 35% of the women’s scores come from the “talent” category, in which the contestants show off any of their fantastic abilities such as singing, dancing, or playing an instrument. Another 25% of the scoring comes from a private interview, in which the contestant will be required to wear an outfit that they believe reflects who they are. Evening attire, and how well it suits the contestant, as well as their behavior on stage takes up 20% of the total score. 15% of the score also comes from interview attire, as the clothing worn by the contestant affects their attitude and confidence levels. The final 5% of their score is based off an on-stage question that they will be asked during the competition.

The contestants have a chance to win multiple different prizes, with scholarships being the main prize. The first-place winner will win a $1,500 scholarship; second place wins $750; third place wins $500. There are also two alumni scholarships able to be won – the CJ Scholarship Award and the Slocum Scholarship Award.

In addition to cash prizes, contestants can also win different pageant recognitions. The Miss Congeniality recognition is awarded to a contestant, based off the other contestant’s picks. The Audience Choice recognition is determined by the collected donations for a contestant’s selected platform. Finally, the Talent Award is given to whoever scored the highest in that portion during the pageant itself.

The pageant will be taking place Nov 13, from 5-8 p.m. in the University Hall Auditorium. It is free to enter, and open to the public.

For any questions regarding Miss Ebony, please contact

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Elonda Erving interview