The Ms. Black District of Columbia Pageant competition has concluded, and the victorious contestant was Georgia native Katori Brown.

The Alabama State alum has lived in the District since 2008 and recently received a master’s in mass communication and media studies from Howard University. She works at the Middle Eastern Broadcast Network and is a dedicated volunteer at her church.

The AFRO spoke with Brown about being named Ms. Black District of Columbia, her future plans and a cause that motivates her pageant win.

AFRO: With you hailing from Georgia and getting your undergraduate degree from Alabama State, did it take you some time to get acclimated to D.C. and its culture (or weather)?
Katori Brown: I actually interned at the Voice of America during the summer of 2007, and absolutely fell in love with D.C. and its diversity and culture. It was then, that I decided it would be a great place for a new start after graduating from college. So, I was well prepared for the change when I moved to D.C. and excited about it.

AFRO: In preparation for becoming Miss Black D.C., what processes did you go through?
KB: Since there is no state-level pageant—Miss Black DC USA is selected through interview. I always try to keep myself informed on current affairs and current trends. I also try to make wise decisions when it comes to eating and exercise. It’s really just a lifestyle that I chose for myself as opposed to preparation for a pageant. I think pageants are about becoming the best you you can be, and that’s what I’ve done as Miss Black D.C. USA, and will continue to do as I prepare for Miss Black USA in August 2011.

AFRO: What advice would you give to young women in the DMV area about pursuing their goals and aspirations?
KB: Persistence is the key. If you keep persistence, you will yield results.

AFRO: What do you intend to do now that you have won the award? Do you intend to give back to any charities or communities in anyway or form?
KB: Service is something that is so important to me. It’s my goal to live a lifestyle of love. So I’m always searching for ways to volunteer my time or serve the community. My platform is Alzheimer’s awareness and research. The Alzheimer’s Association is something that is really near to my heart because my grandmother passed away from Alzheimer’s disease in 2000. So personally, I’ve fundraised for the Alzheimer’s Association in the past and I’m so excited to fundraise for the Alzheimer’s Association as Miss Black DC USA 2011.

AFRO: Now that you have accomplished obtaining your Master’s Degree and have won Ms. Black D.C., do you intend on staying here in the DMV for a while or is it on to conquering another city or state?
KB: I love the District of Columbia, and I can honestly say that my season here is definitely not nearing an end.

Blake Bryson

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