The South Sudanese Nova will represent Canada at the Miss Universe 2020 competition

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Nova Stevens (born May 25, 1993) is a Canadian model, activist, and beauty pageant titleholder who was crowned Miss Universe Canada 2020.

As Miss Universe Canada, she will represent Canada at Miss Universe 2020. Outside of pageantry, Stevens is also a professional model and activist for Black Lives Matter.

Stevens was born on May 25, 1993 in Kenya, to South Sudanese parents fleeing the Second Sudanese Civil War.When she was six years old, the family sent her to Canada in order for her to have a better life; her parents and siblings later settled in Ethiopia. Stevens grew up with various relatives in Alberta and Ontario.

At age 15, Stevens left home and began living on her own. The following year, she moved to New York City and began working as a professional model, until moving to Vancouver in 2014, to continue her modeling career and venture into acting.

Stevens began competing in pageantry in 2014, when she signed up for the Miss Universe Canada 2014 competition. Competing with a weave, she placed in the top twelve.

Stevens later returned to the competition, competing in Miss Universe Canada 2018 with her natural afro-textured hair, where she placed in the top twenty.

In 2020, Stevens participated in the Miss Universe Canada 2020 competition, which she went on to win.[8] She had initially decided to retire from pageantry, but was inspired to continue competing after Zozibini Tunzi was crowned Miss Universe 2019.

Prior to competing in the pageant, Stevens had stated that she would use the platform to amplify her message of supporting Black Lives Matter and racial justice.Her win marked only the second time a black Canadian had won the title, following Juliette Powell in 1989.

Stevens attracted attention for her introductory statement she made in the competition, stating:

(( Good evening, I am Nova Stevens. I am a Canadian and a Black woman. As I stand before you, I want you to see me as a black woman. Yes. I want you to see colour. Because seeing colour does not mean you’re a racist; instead, it allows you to see the struggles experienced by people of colour. You’ve heard the news. You’ve read the stories. Innocent black lives have been lost to police brutality and hate crimes. We want you to see us. We want you to hear us. We want you to feel us)).

Following her win, she will represent Canada at the Miss Universe 2020 competition.

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