MS. BLACK USA
Chanda Branch is a fierce, fly and fantastic woman who lives by the motto, “Just watch me.” Leadership and civic engagement were instilled in her as core values at a young age in her hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida and she remains committed to those concepts as she helps to build the community in Raleigh, North Carolina and bless those in communities throughout the nation.
An alumnus of Tennessee State University, with a B.S. in Speech Communications & Theatre including Teaching Certification, Chanda credits her HBCU education for grounding her in her identity as a woman of color and equipping her to face the shifting challenges of the 21st century.
Chanda ventured into the world of pageantry to win some book money as a college junior. Since that first pageant, she fell in love with the glitz, the glamour, and the grind and has captured local, state, and national titles which include: Miss Black & Gold-Beta Omicron, Miss Black & Gold-Asso. of Tennessee Alphamen, Mrs. Black North Carolina-2017, Ms. Black North Carolina-2020, and Ms. Black USA- 2020.
Mrs. Branch was first appointed to the City of Raleigh Arts Commission in 2014 and reappointed to two additional terms by the city council. She serves the city and the commission as its Chair and is the first Black woman to do so. She formerly served as the Chair of the Grants Committee, which oversee the distribution of municipal funding for arts partners as well as the Racial Equity and Inclusion Task Force.
As a professional classroom educator of English, Dance and Drama, Chanda is an award winning standout. She has produced plays and variety shows for students despite constraints on time, money, and resources. She is currently the Director of Theater at Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School! Chanda also sits on the Board of Directors for North Carolina Theatre (Education Committee) and the Board of Directors for the Raleigh Boychoir.
Chanda’s family is the core of her being. She is the daughter of two career educators, and the granddaughter of one of St. Petersburg, Florida’s first black police officers. She adores her in-laws, her bubbly younger sister, her two handsome nephews, and her darling little niece. Chanda and her incredible husband, City of Raleigh Mayor Pro-Tem Corey Branch, welcomed a precious blessing in the form of their daughter, Carleigh. Being a mother to has changed the game! Chanda’s life and work have new perspectives and the stakes are heightened as the realization that what she does now will impact the world that her child will inherit.
Follow: @MsBlackUSA / @Iammrsbranch / @Iammamabranch on Instagram and Facebook!