UC’s Miss Kuamka recognized for anti-discrimination platform
February 17, 2023
At a formal-dress celebration in early February, fourth-year UC sociology student Karrington Rainey passed the title of Miss Kuamka to her successor, Jaela Kennedy at the 24th Annual Kuamka Ball. Kennedy, a second-year law and society major in the College of Arts and Sciences, was selected from a field of candidates for her platform centered around The Crown Act. Since 1999, the African American Cultural and Resource Center (AACRC) has sponsored this staple event that marks the celebration of Black students at UC. Each year, the AACRC receives entries from candidates who participate in five rounds of competition: essay, interview, platform, question-and-answer and talent. This is the second consecutive year that A&S students have been recognized with the Miss Kuamka title. “Interested students fill out an application answering why they want to become a candidate. Through the process, you get to decide what the university needs to see more of and create a platform around it,” said Kennedy of her candidacy experience. Kennedy chose The Crown Act, created in 2019 in California to advance protections against discrimination based on natural hairstyles such as braids, locs, twists and knots in housing, the workplace and public schools. The initiative was co-founded by the Crown Coalition and Dove, a company that has been active in campaigns celebrating natural beauty and self-acceptance. “The Crown Act is a set of initiatives and laws that prevent race-based hair discrimination,” Kennedy says. Though Cincinnati City Council passed the legislation in 2019, the topic is important to Kennedy because the laws are not yet recognized state-wide.