Keylin Perez – Miss Coppin State University / Twitter
*Keylin Perez is the first Latina to be crowned Miss Coppin State University, a historically Black public university, and as news spreads, Perez is being bullied online.
Perez said some of the haters believe she is white so therefore she has no place at an HBCU, The Baltimore Banner reports.
It’s worth noting that Perez ran unchallenged for the Miss Coppin State University title.
“I knew that it would happen when I first decided to run. I knew it might take this route. I just tried to remain focused on what I have done for the university. It makes me feel better,” said Perez, 22, a nursing major from Mount Airy and a sergeant in the Army Reserves, per the report.
— liyah (@hm_liyah) January 31, 2023
Perez said she started receiving hateful comments after posting a TikTok video titled “When both Baltimore HBCUs Mister and Miss see each other.” Most of the comments under the clip are aimed at Perez.
“It was a mixture of me ‘invading their space,’ ‘How did Coppin allow this to happen?’ and that they are ‘confused,’ and ‘Black people can never have anything,’” she said.
“My parents are immigrants [from Guatemala],” she added. “I can relate to people who were first-generation. I was given the freedom to pursue my career. That’s also another reason why I feel so welcome here at Coppin.”
The Baltimore Banner reports, citing data from Coppin State University, that eighty percent of the students at the liberal arts school identify as Black or African American, while 3% percent are Latino or Hispanic.
According to The Baltimore Banner, Perez earned the university’s Miss Sophomore title in 2020-2021 and Miss Junior the following year. She was crowned Miss Coppin State University in the fall.
“As a person of color, I have been treated with love and support. It’s been very lovely. I have created a lot of friendships and bonds with them. It has been very pleasant,” she said. “I stated no matter the amount of hate I am receiving, I will continue my reign. I ran for a reason, and I will finish with the same positive energy.”
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