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RACINE — Ava Collier-White, a Racine resident and student at The Prairie School, has been named this year’s Miss Juneteenth.

Juneteenth Day is a federal holiday observed in the United States. This day commemorates the emancipation of enslaved black Americans. Since 1865, Juneteenth Day has been celebrated as a way to celebrate freedom, but also the culture of black Americans.

Pageant makes a comeback

The local Miss Juneteenth pageant took place at the Dr. John Bryant Community Center, 601 Caron Butler Way, on June 10.

Prior to the pageant, the Strength in Her Stride Cancer March took place at the Dr. John Bryant Center. The Sisters Network Southeast Wisconsin (African American Breast Cancer Support group) hosted the event the morning of the pageant. 

The event was hosted by the Professional Women’s Network for Service and the City of Racine Juneteenth Committee. The Miss Juneteenth pageant is part of a week-long series of Juneteenth events taking place through June 19.

Last year, Soija Cameron held the title of Miss Juneteenth after the pageant took a 15-year hiatus in the City of Racine. In 2022, Collier-White was named first runner-up.

Just as the pageant has made a comeback, so has Collier-White.

Miss Juneteenth’s success

Working hard to achieve a goal is nothing new for the junior at The Prairie School.


She has a 4.0 GPA and is a scholar-athlete who has participated on the varsity Track and Field team for three years. Out of two of those years, Collier-White has been a WIAA State Track Qualifier.

Miss Juneteenth 2023, Ava Collier-White
Miss Juneteenth 2023, Ava Collier-White – Credit: Taeja Vu

In addition to being a star on the track, Collier-White is also a member of the women’s varsity basketball team. She has served as team captain and as a summer youth basketball camp leader. The student-athlete has also earned herself the titles of Metro Classic Honorable Mention and WBCA Girls Basketball Academic All-State Team for three consecutive seasons.

Scholastic success

Sports aren’t her only focus, Collier-White grinds in the classroom too. She is a National Honor Society High School Scholar and a QuestBridge Scholar.

Likewise, she currently serves as a member of the Prairie Leadership Society, Honor Committee, Student Government, and the Affinity Group.

“My goal is to gain acceptance into a highly academic university to obtain a degree in Business
with an emphasis in Pre-Law. I plan to finish my senior year strong while still remaining active
in my community,” says the new Miss Juneteenth. “Overall, amidst challenges and uncertainties, I have remained steadfast to my goal of being and giving the best version of myself at all times without excuses.”

Juneteenth events

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