The Vancouver-based model will be competing for the Miss Universe Canada 2020 crown later this week.
We spoke to model Nova Stevens about the upcoming Miss Universe Canada pageant, racism in modelling, Black Lives Matter and more.
On organizing the Freedom March in Vancouver this past summer:“I went to the first Black Lives Matter protest at an art gallery and at that point I had no interest in speaking, I was just going to go there in support of everyone marching in solidarity. But when I got there I had this sense of urgency, I had this voice in my head that told me I had to go speak. I didn’t know what I was going to say but I knew I had to get up there. So I just spoke from the heart, nothing was rehearsed. Shamika Mitchell [an actress/activist] reached out to me and said ‘I heard you speak, you inspired me, let’s do a march together.’ And so Shamika and I started the Freedom March [which brought together over 15,000 people in the streets of Vancouver on June 19].
We’re also in the process of setting up a nonprofit with a mission to continue the conversation and to help Black, Indigenous and people of colour with resources, which often times are lacking in our communities. What’s important to me is education and financial literacy. Part of what I want to do with my organization is to have scholarship funds for kids and to give business grants to Black entrepreneurs. It’s important to empower yourself and I think business really does that.”
image courtesy nova stevensmodelling industry:“I was modelling in Milan and I remember doing a casting where the casting director said ‘what are you doing here, we told your agent – no Black girls.’ In my mind, I was like ‘that is not okay, you can’t just say that to someone.’ I was a grown woman so that didn’t really affect me as much but imagine if I was a 16-year-old girl hearing someone say that to me, at a point when I’m still trying to figure out who I am. That can cause a lot of damage in someone.” headtopics.com
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