Miss Oklahoma Triana Browne spoke to approximately 30 students regarding “Bridging Cultural Diversity One Step at a Time” at the Cultural Engagement Center on Thursday. The presentation was sponsored by the Native American-Serving Non-tribal Institutions grant* and the Northern Thunder Club hosted the reception which followed. Club members presented Browne with a jacket after her speech. Browne, 24, was named Miss OSU while a student at Oklahoma State University. She was then later named Miss Oklahoma City before being named Miss Oklahoma. As Miss Oklahoma she represented Oklahoma in the Miss America Pageant in September. Browne who is part Chickasaw and African American, told students about racial prejudice she faced as a young child. “It was never an issue in my family,” she said.“But it was to others.” She spoke of being an 8-year old where she was teased about her race. “Even at a young age I realized that I was alone,”she said. “I was a victim of bullying to the point that I was depressed and suicidal. That is a terrible thing to experience. I didn’t look like anyone else and it was hard to deal with but I chose not to take a side.” She added she was a victim of racial bias at OSU. “I was going to track practice one day and someone yelled at me saying, ‘go back where you came from.’” She said. “I wasn’t sure exactly what they meant,” Browne said with a chuckle. “Where would I go, Africa or Tulsa? It was sad to think that in today’s time someone would say that but that is the world we live in.” “That’s why my platform is about bridging those cultural gaps by having uncomfortable conversations because they are uncomfortable,” she said. “As uncomfortable as they are we need Triana Browne Miss Oklahoma speaks to students at Cultural Engagement Center to have them.” She said the key to uncomfortable conversations is not to be angry. “We are an angry society,” she said. “But we have to remain calm and not allow our emotions to get the best of us. We can be passionate without being all about emotions.” Browne said she ran track at OSU and became involved in pageants to help her mother financially. “There were scholarships available if you won the pageant,” she said. “My mother was having a difficult time paying for my school so I saw it as a way to help her out. It’s worked out well in so many ways.” Browne said she has many options for the future one is a possibility of working with NIKE as a spokesperson for the Chickasaws. She said she may attempt to qualify for the Heptathlon at the 2020 Olympics. Browne competed in the Heptathlon (seven individual events combined into one competition) at Oklahoma State. Browne was in Tonkawa for the Miss NOC Enid and Miss NOC Tonkawa Pageants held Thursday night at the KPAC.
Cloud, S. (2017, October 27). Miss Oklahoma speaks to students at Cultural Engagement
Center. Retrieved on November 1, 2017
*editted by B. Hinesley-Chambers