MBAC Founder, Candace Cooper
Candace Cooper is a mother to three, college professor, community leader and pageant queen. After nearly 20 years of directing pageants and 15 years of college teaching, she has expanded her "college pageant vision" from her home state of Texas to all 50 states.
As a 19 year freshman, Candace Cooper won the title of Miss Black and Gold for the Eta Mu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha. That same year, in the Fall semester she was drafted by the fraternity to direct the the subsequent year's Miss Black and Gold pageant in 1996. During her directorial debut at age 20, she learned she had a knack for training contestants and organizing pageant events.
At 23, she formed Black All-American Pageant Systems, Inc. a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of women via leadership, scholarship and service. She formed her first event, Miss Black Houston All-American by single-handedly recruiting contestants at high school and college football games, step shows and even track meets. After hosting her first independent successful event, she expanded to the Miss Black Harris County Pageant, then the Southeast Texas Pageant and ultimately the Miss Black Texas Pageant. At age 29, she became the Texas director for the Miss Black USA Pageant and remained in the position for eight years where she experimented with the idea of offering college titles in her Texas pageant. The components of Miss Black America Coed hinge upon the ideas and best practices learned through her nearly 20 years of pageant director training.