A Miss America Contestant Used The Pageant To Remind Viewers Of Michigan’s Ongoing Crisis

Someone give this woman a crown.

Instead of listing her personal accomplishments, one Miss American 2019 contestant — Miss Michigan Emily Sioma — used the pageant's introduction segment to raise awareness for an issue she cares deeply about: the Flint water crisis.

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"From the state with 84 percent of the U.S.' fresh water but none for its residents to drink, I am Miss Michigan, Emily Sioma," she said, not missing a beat.

With this statement, Sioma calls attention to a problem that has plagued her state since 2014. It began when Flint's drinking water source was changed and lead pipes contaminated the tap water, affecting more than 100,000 residents. These residents likely won't be able to consume drinking water until 2020 at the earliest. The issue has received nationwide attention from activists and celebrities alike, though little help from the government has been given.

This year, the nearly century-old Miss America institution debuted a new, more progressive version of itself. Not that it hasn't been in the past, but this time around beauty queens were encouraged to feel more empowered to engage with political and social issues. Sioma, it seems, took that to heart.

Sioma, who graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in women's studies, ended up not advancing to the top 15 and the crown went to Nia Franklin, Miss New York. That said, Sioma's outspokenness was celebrated online and heralded as one of the best moments of the whole night.

In addition to speaking out about the water crisis in Flint, Sioma's platform is "I Believe You," which aims to support survivors of sexual violence. As her bio says on the Miss America website, she is actually a survivor herself.

Sometimes you don't actually have to win to be a winner.

(H/T: CNN)

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