Brenda Smith has as diverse of a career as she does an identity, and both are equally in the spotlight.
Born in the United States to a Panamanian father and a Mexican mother, Brenda has always shared her pride in the intersectionality of her identities. Her experiences with discrimination, particularly racism and xenophobia, inspired her to dedicate her life to advocating for social justice and human rights.
As a Human Rights Fellow at the United Nations, she has been a powerful young voice and created concrete changes in some of the most influential human rights mechanisms in the world. This has led her to be recognized as part of the 100 Most Influential People of African Descent.
Through her education in journalism and cultural studies, Brenda has combined her life purpose and her career as an on-air host, public speaker, and activist.
I set and achieved my goal to visit 21 countries by age 21 traveling the world with a 70-liter backpack.
After 3 years of being rejected for a position as a UN Fellow, I determined that in order to get my foot in the door I needed to think out of the box. I decided to take four flights all the way to a UN meeting in Senegal, Africa, and find a way to speak directly to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and ask for an opportunity. That courage led to me finally being chosen for the position I had been working towards for so long.
Hours before my long-awaited Miss Universe interview, I had an accident that literally brought me to my knees. I dropped an iron directly on my toe that did so much damage that I had to be rushed to the hospital and have a small surgery to control the bleeding. As everyone around me was freaking out, I laughed through the tears and reminded myself that life isn’t about what happens to you, but rather how you react to it.
TO BECOME MISS UNIVERSE