Some of you have had the chance to read my letter I sent to MAO based upon the treatment and experiences I've gone through, but I wanted to share what has been on my heart with you here.
The Content from Letter i wrote to Miss America is below:
To: Miss America Organization (“MAO”)
Date: May 10, 2019
I am dispirited to have to inform you and the public that I have decided to cease using the “Miss Tennessee 2018” title and name that I worked so hard to earn, effective immediately.
Despite spending considerable time, effort and money to a) successfully compete for my state title, and b) subsequently prepare for and compete in MAO’s national pageant competition in Atlantic City, I have concluded that circumstances beyond my control have conspired to adversely impact my treatment as a state titleholder from a state whose State Organization was terminated by MAO in September 2018. From my perspective, titleholders and contestants alike were hurt in, among other things, how MAO handled its 1) disputes with multiple State Organizations, and 2) ill-conceived and clumsily communicated transition to new State Organizations. Being subjected to that experience showed me MAO’s blatant disregard, if not outright contempt, for my dedication and efforts to earn my title and complete my year of service.
From my perspective, MAO and its leadership, working with its newly selected State Organization(s), deprived me of the full breadth and scope of the year of service I was promised and entitled to expect. For example, I lost the support of the State Organization that nurtured and supported me for the last six (6) years that I have been involved in the MAO program. I watched with dismay MAO’s cavalier treatment of the volunteers and leaders that have given years, and even decades, of their lives to supporting my state’s former State Organization and the MAO program.
For the record, I have and will always cherish my relationships with these former State Organization volunteers and leaders. For MAO to suggest as it did that I “refrain from any further contact or association” with such people was more than presumptuous, but rather was inappropriately dismissive of the personal relationships I had made for myself. The first formal communication from MAO after terminating my state’s State Organization—made more than three months after—showed me how little respect or consideration MAO and its leadership had for me and other titleholders and contestants like me.
In retrospect, this entire experience showed me that I did not and still do not agree with MAO’s management of its personnel and program. I have made the difficult decision not to continue my support of the MAO program and to instead pursue exciting new opportunities with another program led and supported by people and volunteers I love and respect. The honor, commitment and loyalty that they have shown to me are values I want to reflect and reciprocate as my legacy.
Christine Electra Williamson