Newly crowned Miss America, Nina Davuluri spotted at Asheville’s Grove Park Inn

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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BVAKFwpCEAEuPdKNina Davuluri, who was recently crowned Miss America, was spotted at the Grove Park Inn. Twitter buddy Seth Stewart wrote:

@Ashevegas newly crowned Miss America spotted at GPI. #AVLTMZ

Jon Ostendorff tweeted this afternoon that the Grove Park Inn folks confirmed a Miss America visit, clarifying that she was not there today (9/25) Fun! Davuluri is the first Indian American to ever hold the Miss America crown. Among the reaction to her victor was a strain of hate. She’s responded by opening up broader conversation about diversity. From the Wall Street Journal:

She’s not kidding. Mere moments after her crowning as Miss America — beneath the general outpouring of congratulations and acclamations — the Twittersphere broke out in a rash of ugly posts, attacking Davuluri as not being “American enough” to be Miss America, in some cases misidentifying her as “Arab” and “Muslim” and pointing out the recent proximity of the 9/11 bombing’s anniversary.

“Of course I saw the tweets — I read my Twitter feed!” she says. “And yes, it was unfortunate, but it wasn’t completely surprising. I’d already experienced something like it on a smaller scale when I won Miss New York. It’s part of the reason I was so determined to focus my platform on diversity. But you can’t just scream in the dark, you have to try to shed light and awareness.”

Davuluri, whose family is Hindu, recounts how before each night of the competition, the contestants gathered together and formed a giant nondenominational prayer circle. “That was just such an important moment for me, because it was all of us, of such different faiths, coming together and uniting,” she says. “It was a symbol of how, regardless of our differences, we can still come together and respect one another’s beliefs.”

Inspired by that experience, Davuluri responded to the online hate with a campaign of her own, #circlesofunity, inviting her followers to tweet her posts and pictures about what it means to be culturally aware, and to open up a social media conversation about the value of social — and economic — diversity.

Congratulations to Ms Davuluri. Follow Miss America on Twitter here.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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  1. Eric S September 27, 2013

    Used to work there for a period of time. It looks like the Sammons wing between the Ballrooms and the hallway that leads you to the elevators.

  2. Drake September 26, 2013

    Is she in the basement of the Grove Park Inn? Weird Photo?


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