Miss Black Maryland USA Featured in Lifetime’s New Women’s Campaign
Stacy M. Brown | 2/16/2018, 6 a.m.
Baltimore attorney Saidah Grimes is part of Lifetime’s new online campaign, “Her America: 50 Women, 50 States.”
Grimes says she is using her platform as Miss Black Maryland USA to help shine a light on the inequality experienced by African Americans and women in the state. She also wants to remind young women that not only is black beautiful, but that brains and beauty go hand and hand.
“As a practicing lawyer, I wanted to choose a platform that combined my passion for legal advocacy and desire to help others. It’s a privilege to advocate for those who often feel voiceless and invisible both as a lawyer and as a beauty queen,” said Grimes, who last year was named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers magazine.
Grimes graduated magna cum laude from the University of South Carolina Moore School of Business where she quadruple majored in international business, corporate finance, global supply chain and operations management and marketing.
She minored in Spanish and, as a law student, Grimes interned at the Office of the Public Defender for the Juvenile Division in Baltimore where she advocated for youth who were arrested and accused of crimes, winning her first criminal trial prior to graduating law school.
She has said that being Miss Black Maryland USA presents a chance to advocate for young people who find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
Grimes’ Miss Black Maryland USA platform called “Plug the Pipeline” aims to educate parents and legislative officials on the inherent link between school-based arrests and school disciplinary policies and the growing number of youth in the justice system.
She says she dreams of starting a nonprofit focused on helping kids learn effectively advocacy skills to inspire the next generation of prospective attorneys.
Currently, she is excited about the Lifetime campaign, she said.
“The most encouraging aspect of the Lifetime campaign is showing that beauty comes in different shades, sizes and talents. This campaign shows that there is no such thing as the typical woman,” Grimes said. “We are all different and unique and have the power to inspire others through our stories.”
The Lifetime campaign went live on February 5, 2018 with a web promotion that included clips of a police officer, seamstress, professional horse rider and others who served to emphasize the broad scope of women in America.
By sharing stories of 50 different women, Lifetime officials say they hope to bring women closer together and amplify the voices that go mostly unheard and unrecognized.
“Following the 2016 U.S. presidential election, at a time when our country seemed more fractured than ever, Lifetime set out to capture the truth about women’s lives in America, bringing them closer together,” according to an official news release. “As one of the country’s most powerful, preeminent female entertainment channels, this February 12, Lifetime [made] a commitment to represent real women through ‘Her America.”
The ultimate impact of the campaign will be shattering stereotypes regarding conventional beauty and traditional roles for women, Grimes said.
“Women all over the globe are making a difference, and I feel honored to be one of the featured stories in the Lifetime campaign,” she said.
Grimes says she is inspired by other strong, women lawyers like Democratic California Senator Kamala Harris, whom she noted she would love to meet one day.
“We are at a critical time. Women are demanding long-deserved respect, and men are listening,” Grimes said, when asked specifically about the #Metoo movement that has swept through Hollywood and the boardrooms of corporate America.
“Minorities are fighting for equality in our justice system, and the country is listening. How we come together now will define a new order of dignity and respect for all irrespective of race, sex, gender identity or socioeconomic status,” she said. “I am humbled to know that I am helping to build a better future for the next generation.”
For more information about Lifetime’s “Her America” campaign, visit https://www.heramerica.com/.