Lauren Ash will be one of the judges on Miss America 2020. The star of Superstore, Scare Tactics, and the like will join Kamaro Brown and Kelly Rowland on the jury to decide which of the 51 contestants deserves the prestigious title the most.
The competition has undergone rapid changes over the years. The evening gown and swimsuit contests have been replaced with interview sections.
The 93rd Miss America competition is nothing like previous editions.
The Miss America 2020 competition aims to promote inclusiveness and progressiveness.
The members of the jury were appointed in accord with these values: Lauren, Kamaro, and Kelly have all made significant contributions in the civic sector, and possess extensive experiences in charitable work.
The three celebrities will conduct in-depth interviews with the 51 contestants to find out which of the nominees is the best-suited for the prominent scholarship.
Miss America 2020 puts social entrepreneurship into the focal point. Each contestant has extensive achievements to boast in the field of civic work.
Some applicants run campaigns for gender diversity in tech (Shivali Kadam, Morgan Nichols), while others fight for better work and living opportunities for the disabled (Addison Price).
During the competition, each woman will get the chance to extrapolate on how they approach thought leadership, which issues they feel particularly strong about, and how they would use the vast range of opportunities the Miss America scholarship affords.
Lauren Ash ran various campaigns before joining Miss America 2020.
Currently, Lauren works with the animal rights organization, Save Them All, and the women's health non-profit, PCOS Challenge. Save Them All provides shelter and necessary healthcare for homeless pups. PCOS Challenge runs classes, research programs, screenings, and consultancy to increase awareness about polycystic ovary syndrome.
Lauren also worked as the host of this year's Gracie Awards, a prize for women who made significant contributions to the diversification of the media industry.
To topple it all, she is an outspoken advocate of body positivity.
"My New Year’s resolution this year was to not speak negatively about my body to myself or to anyone else [...] It’s been a mindset that’s been really positive for me, and I think that as women, especially, we’re very hard on ourselves. Trying to change that narrative and focusing on the things that you like is a really powerful tool," Lauren explained in a recent interview with US Weekly.
Lauren's political views feed into how she chooses acting roles as well.
As Superstore's Dina Fox, she plays a strong, earnest character with a particular knack for collecting parrots – she is the proud mother of dozens of birds– and an open-minded approach towards sexuality. In Season 3 of the show, she even agreed to become a surrogate mother to help her boss, Glenn, and his wife, Jerusha, give birth to one more child.
As Another Period's Hortense Bellacourt, she featured in sketches unpicking gendered and classed stereotypes.
The actress has a solid track record with campaigning for worthy causes, and we simply can't wait to see which candidate she will endorse.
The 93rd Miss America competition will air on Thursday, Dec. 19 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.