This past weekend, Georgia’s own Shaunii Rawls traveled to Washington, D.C. along with 30 other contestants to compete for the Miss Black USA 2017 title.
Rawls, competing in her first pageant ever, went up against women who have lived pageantry from a young age and captured third runner-up, becoming a Goodwill Ambassador of the Republic of Sierra Leone. She also won the Miss Black USA Community Ambassador award for her service to her community.e
During her reign, Rawls contributed greatly to Savannah’s youth by raising awareness for sickle cell disease. The New York Daily News and Essence.com featured her for her service and campaigns. She collected winter garments for 85 families at The Children’s Hospital of Savannah last holiday season, gave back to four children with sickle cell disease at their appointments, provided six women with spa treatments and makeovers for sharing their story of overcoming adversity during her “The Stigma Behind My Beauty Mark” campaign, raised $1,000 for the Sickle Cell Consortium with a Kendra Scott send-off party, and was the keynote speaker for the Sickle Cell Symposium and an empowerment seminar for young girls at L’Oréal USA in NYC> That service continues as she returns to Savannah.
“I come from a small dirt road in Richmond Hill, Georgia. I want to be a living testimony for those small-town kids who have dreams. I want them to know that they can achieve anything despite their circumstances or where they come from, and that’s what the Miss Black USA pageant stands for. My reign doesn’t end as Miss Black Georgia USA. As Shaunii Rawls, I will continue to be a voice for those who cannot self advocate. I will share the stories of the ignored and the unknown. I will let people know that even though they may not have a physical crown, they are still kings and queens. My journey has just begun.” –Shaunii Rawls, Miss Black Georgia USA 2017