A native of Booneville, Asya Branch was crowned Miss Mississippi USA on 27 October 2019 and Miss USA 2020 on 10 November 2020. In May 2021 she placed in the top 21 at Miss Universe 2020, held in Hollywood, Florida. Asya was the first black Miss Mississippi USA and the first Mississippi representative to win Miss USA, as well as the first former Miss America contestant to win in 16 years.
Asya Branch is pursuing her Integrated Marketing Communications degree with an emphasis in Public Relations and minor in General Business at the University of Mississippi. She is excited to utilize her formal education and life experiences as a valued representative for a public relations firm or major corporation.
Asya was named Ole Miss’s Most Beautiful in 2018, an accomplishment that she is very proud of because she had the opportunity to represent the university that she loves. Making history as the first African American Miss Mississippi USA, Asya has been advocating for at risk children and criminal justice reform for the past several years. She has worked with government officials and the president on positively changing our justice system. Asya will continue to encourage our youth and be a voice for the unheard.
Asya values the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and loves to hit the gym for extensive weight training sessions. She also loves to travel, read and promote her cosmetic line “Branch Beauty.”
As Miss Mississippi USA, Asya wants to teach others that they do not have to be defined by their circumstances. Her favorite quote by Randy Pausch, “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand,” motivates Asya to share her life with others while inspiring them to overcome all of life’s adversities.
Asya competed at Miss Universe on home soil, six months after winning Miss USA. She chose the Mockingbird as her national costume.
“I was raised in Mississippi where our state bird is the mockingbird. This bird has 30 songs in its repertoire that it uses to draw friends near. I began singing at the age of 5, and I believe each of us has a song in our hearts that nurtures our souls much like the mockingbird.”
“After the past year the universe experienced, I think it’s also important that we let our fire within burn brighter than the fire that surrounds us. One flame can ignite the fires of many inspiring others to spread their wings, fight for justice, and illuminate the world.”
“This costume symbolizes strength, passion, and liberation. I hope that the mockingbird, its wings, and the imagery of the flames inspire the songs of strength in unity, the passion to ignite the light of others, and the freedom to soar in one’s calling.”
The on-stage moments, the tension of the final two and the glory of the crowning, here are Asya’s Miss Mississippi USA pageant photos and crowning video.
Lights, camera, action! Professional photoshoots are one of the perks that comes from winning a title.
Asya was the first former Miss America contestant to win Miss USA since Shandi Finnessey in 2004. Here are her Miss Mississippi and Miss America photos.
All beautiful things must come to an end, no matter how bittersweet. See Asya’s tribute walk at Miss Mississippi USA and her Miss USA farewell, as well as other photos from both events.
Winning a state title is a sisterhood for life, and Asya has remained close to her Greenwood Productions “family”, including co-hosting Miss Mississippi USA 2022. Here are her “after the crown” photos.