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From left, Ja’Lyn Yarbrough, Marissa Williams and Taylor Calvert pose on the stairs of the Cameron University Theatre, where the three women will compete for the 2015 Miss Black CU title on Saturday.

3 will vie for Miss Black CU crown

The Lawton community can prepare for an evening of extreme talent, high energy and fierce competition yet again this year during the 2015 Dr. Valree Wynn Miss Black CU competition at Cameron University.

The pageant kicks off at 7 p.m. Saturday in the University Theatre, 2800 W. Gore and will feature four public segments of competition and a multitude of guest performances. Despite there being only three contestants this year  the lowest number of participants in five years  pageant coordinator Taylor Thompson says the show is just as alluring as ever.

"The community should come check this out because it's the 36th pageant and even though we only have a few contestants, they've worked extremely hard," Thompson said. "I think they deserve to be able to perform in front of the entire community. Ö People need to continue to show support for this pageant  a pageant that we want to keep going in the legacy of Dr. Valree Wynn  so we can make sure it is happening years and years from now."

The 2015 contestants are Taylor Calvert, Marissa Williams and Ja'Lyn Yarbrough.

How the winner will be chosen

The winner will be chosen from a combined score of their private interview, ambassadorial wear, evening wear, talent and on-stage question and answer. She will succeed 2014 Miss Black CU Oluwakemi Olurotimi and receive roughly $1,200 worth of financial assistance from the Black Student Association. She will also take on a few new duties  both on-campus and off.

"The responsibilities are kind of endless for our queens," Thompson said. "We give them the option to go and compete at the state pageant if they so choose and we also really try to get them out into the community. We like for them to host on-campus events too, if possible  the 2014 Miss Black CU did a workshop on campus last year over stress and well being, which was her platform."

Platforms to be explored this year include: "Rerouting Minority Students to Overcome Negative Statistics," "Uniquely Us: Embracing Diversity" and "Building Self-Confidence and Self-Empowerment in Young Women." The talent portion of competition will consist of two monologues and a praise dance.

The Lawton Constitution

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