On Thursday, April 8, the Tenacious Tau Eta chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated hosted their annual Mr. Pink and Green pageant. After several rounds of the pageant, the hosts of the event determined that Mitchell Hendricks would be named this year’s Mr. Pink and Green.
Other contestants who competed for the prestigious title included Brayan Loja, Mitchell Hendricks, and Ebenezer Owusu, who are members of Lambda Theta Phi, C-Sharps, and the Monmouth University men’s soccer team respectively.
The first round of the pageant was talent, and the four gentlemen were able to showcase some of their most prized skills. Cooper performed a dance number, and Loja prepared a traditional dish of yellow rice, black beans, and chicken.
Next up, with an astounding vocal performance, was Hendricks. The crowd went wild for Hendricks’ rendition of “There’s a House in New Orleans.” During the performance, Hendricks sang and accompanied himself via video on both piano and guitar.
Owusu closed up the talent portion of the event with an impressive video compilation of soccer tricks. Owusu, a native of Ghana is a Forward on the men’s team at the University.
The next segment of the pageant was all about social justice. During this portion of the event, each contestant got to deliver a speech about a social justice organization or movement that they are passionate about.
First in the lineup was Cooper, who spoke very highly about the Black Lives Matter organization. Cooper, a strong supporter of the movement said, “All lives cannot matter until black lives matter.”
Loja delivered a touching speech about DACA and the immigration issue in the United States. Loja spoke about the way DACA helps undocumented immigrants achieve better wages, obtain driver’s licenses and pursue higher education. Loja is a child of immigrant parents, so the cause hits close to home.
Hendricks used his time to promote LGBT rights and spoke about “love, respect, and appreciation” for people of all genders and sexual orientations. Following Henricks was Owusu, who denounced gun violence in the United States.
The interview portion gave contestants even more time to talk about important topics such as education, service, politics, and even personal challenges. For Cooper, this meant having a platform to talk about the importance of higher education.
He said, “Higher education is the bottom line, specifically for everyone because knowledge is power. You can lose everything in life but no one can take away your knowledge or education…[it] gives you tools and skills. Education will prove you are more capable than what people think you are.”
The women of AKA are huge supporters of community service, something that has positively impacted Loja throughout his life.
He said, “Community service is needed. I benefitted a lot from different outreach programs. I know the benefit of getting help from different community services. Small contributions can make a really big impact.”
Hendricks, a political science student, had the opportunity to reflect on what he would do if he were president during his part of the interview round. For Hendricks, a term in office would first and foremost include abolishing the two-party system.
He said that the “fundamentally flawed” system would be replaced by a parliamentary or runoff system, as a way to “accurately and fairly represent Americans and their wishes.”
Finally, Owusu was able to reflect on the challenges he faced as a result of moving to a new country for college. Owusu, a family man, said that besides missing his mother, adapting to a new culture was very difficult for him.
Finally, the formal section gave each contestant an opportunity to talk about their goals and achievements, while dressed in tuxedos, in true pageant fashion.
After much deliberation between the judges of the event, which included sisters and alumni of AKA, the winner of the pageant was decided, and Mitchell Hendricks was named this year’s Mr. Pink and Green, with Cooper coming in second place.
For more information on the sisters of Alpha Kappa Alpha, be sure to check them out on Instagram, @tauetas_aka.
PHOTO TAKEN from Mitchell Hendricks