81st Miss Howard University Makes History, Holds First Week of Events

The 81st Miss Howard University, Kyla Cole. Contributed Photo.

By T’Keyah Hayes, Howard University News Service

Washington, D.C.– The 81st Miss Howard University, Kyla Cole, kicked off her 2020 reign with a roll out of a week of events. She sets the precedent as the first in the title to hold her own week of events.

Titled “The Howard Girl Protection Program”, the 4-day series of events is geared towards the women of Howard University and intended to teach important lessons to be applied to professional and personal lives.

“The theme came from an evaluation of my life and the lives of the Howard women around me. I noticed that although Howard prepares us for the real world educationally, there are some details of the real world experience that is not offered in any class we can take on campus,” said Cole.

The week was full of different opportunities for women to expand their knowledge of certain aspects of adulthood, as well as a chance to feel empowered. Events included self-defense and safety training in collaboration with the Howard University Police Department, professional development courses, and an open mic night in collaboration with the Sesh Collective and the 2019 Howard University Homecoming Fashion Show creative director, Madison Brim.

 In the midst of planning the week, Cole describes her only challenge being time management. The most rewarding moment in her eyes was having the ability to watch her vision come to life.

Overall, Cole hopes that the attendees took away the importance of understanding their power and worth as a Black woman in America. 

“I wanted them to know that their fears and concerns are real and that they are justified and supported no matter what. I wanted to remind everyone that we are only ever in competition with ourselves and not with our fellow Black women,” Cole said. “I wanted them to understand that we are far from perfect but we are undoubtedly worth every ounce of love, respect, and support.” 

Upon her graduation in the spring, she hopes her successor pushes boundaries and sets their own precedents upon their crowning.