Diaspora

Ms. Black NY to go to Washington, DC | Queenswide | qchron.com – Queens Chronicle

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Updated: February 4, 2022 @ 1:28 am
Ms. Black New York, Tracey Rho, 31, is competing to be this year’s Ms. Black USA in Washington, DC during the summer. The city worker will use any winnings toward a Ph.D. in public policy.

Ms. Black New York, Tracey Rho, 31, is competing to be this year’s Ms. Black USA in Washington, DC during the summer. The city worker will use any winnings toward a Ph.D. in public policy.
Competing in Washington, DC Aug. 7 for the Ms. Black USA title and representing New York State is Tracey Rho, a Cambria Heights resident.
Rho, 31, was selected as Ms. Black New York USA 2022 late last year. The pageant offers over $500,000 in scholarships, organizers say.
“I feel very excited, I also feel really, really nervous,” said Rho. “I’m generally very shy, but I also try to push myself out of my shyness. I’m looking forward to being onstage actually, but I’m most looking forward to the community service aspects as well. It’s part of the title.”
Rho is the daughter of Haitian immigrants and works as a senior analyst at the city Office of Management and Budget in the Community Development Unit, according to the Miss Black USA Organization.
“I feel like, when we think about immigrants, we think of people who are coming to America to live off of public assistance, which is completely false,” said Rho. “Growing up I had seen strong working Haitian-American doctors, lawyers and university professors. It has showed me that I just need to continue to work hard and really just break through the glass ceiling. If you feel there is a glass barrier, you just need to get past it and show people what you are capable of doing instead of keeping you in the confined box of ‘immigrant.’”
Rho, who has decided her year of service should emphasize volunteerism and civic engagement, is placing her focus on low-income areas where poverty, homelessness, education inequity and food insecurity have intensified because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“People should be more involved in their communities,” said Rho. “A lot of people generally overlook what is happening in their own backyard just because they are more fortunate.
“You should put yourself in another person’s shoes … They might not know where their next meal is going to be from and where they are going to sleep at night.”
The organizations she has worked with include the Bowery Mission (meal prep for emergency shelters), New York Cares (mobile food pantry; coat drive) and East Harlem Tutorial (assistance for elementary schoolchildren with academics).
The beauty queen is seeking to use any winnings to address poverty, inequity and insecurity by getting a doctorate in philosophy in public policy.
“My father did encourage me to get a doctorate like he had,” said Rho. “I applied to a program just recently … I’m really hoping to do my Ph.D. research on methods toward poverty prevention and helping people get out of poverty.”
Rho started participating in pageants when she was 6 and competed in Miss New York USA, for women 18 to 27, in 2017, when she received an award for scoring high in swimsuit.
“I felt that was going to be my last pageant, but I’ve always wanted to do this national pageant, so maybe this is my last hurrah,” Rho said.
Rho finds competing in Ms. Black USA extra special.
“A lot of pageants don’t celebrate what it means to be Black and to be a woman today,” said Rho. “I’m very happy that I get to compete with women who share my values and education and being a positive role model. Black beauty comes in different shades and sizes.”
To learn more about Ms. Black USA, visit msblackusa.org.
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