‘My Black is beautiful’: High school students compete for Miss Juneteenth ICT


Monique Gaines / The Sunflower

Miss Juneteenth ICT Jayden Earl at a press conference at the Miss Juneteenth ICT pageant in the Rhatigan Student Center on June 11, 2021.

Wichita Heights High School student Jayden Earl took the Miss Juneteenth ICT crown Friday.

“While holding this title I hope to inspire young Black girls that they can be anything they want to be,” Earl said during a press conference after the event. “They can be doctors, teachers and engineers. Anything you put your mind to is already yours.”

The pageant’s purpose was to showcase the intelligence and talent of Black women in the Wichita community. It was a part of a festival celebrating Juneteenth, the holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the United States. 

The event was hosted by KSN Reporter Ayron Lewallen and Wichita business owner Alexus Scott. Joseph Shepard, former Wichita State student body president, coordinated the event.

All of the contestants waiting for the winner to be announced at the Miss Juneteenth ICT pageant in the Rhatigan Student Center on June 11, 2021. (Monique Gaines / The Sunflower)

The pageant was held at the Rhatigan Student Center ballroom. There were five girls competing for the $1,500 scholarship and the chance to be the Miss Juneteenth ICT spokesperson for a whole year. 

The pageant was split into four segments: business introductions, talent, evening wear, and the Q&A segment.

In the Q&A section, competitors drew a name of a judge from a fishbowl and that judge would then ask the competitor a question. Questions surrounded topics such as financial literacy, police brutality, poverty and more.

Earl is planning on attending Butler Community College for one year and then transferring to the University of Arkansas to study chemistry.

Earl said that her passion is to help out those around her. In her free time, she volunteers at her church.

“I just like helping everybody,” Earl said. “If you need a hand, I’ll be there.”

To see the full list of Juneteenth ICT, visit their website here.