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Ericka Dunlap

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Ericka Dunlap
Ericka Dunlap, Miss America 2004
Born (1981-12-29) December 29, 1981 (age 42)
Alma materWilliam R. Boone High School
University of Central Florida
TitleMiss Orlando 2001
Miss Heart of Florida 2002
Miss City Beautiful 2003
Miss Florida 2003
Miss America 2004
TermSeptember 20, 2003 – September 18, 2004
PredecessorErika Harold
SuccessorDeidre Downs
Brian Kleinschmidt
(m. 2007; div. 2011)
  • James Dunlap (father)

Ericka Dunlap (born December 29, 1981[1]) is an American beauty pageant titleholder from Orlando, Florida who was named Miss Florida 2003 and subsequently crowned Miss America 2004. Dunlap was the first African American woman to be crowned Miss Florida in the Miss America pageant's 81-year history.[2] As of 2022, she is the only African American woman to have been crowned Miss Florida.[3]


Dunlap is a native of Orlando, attended William R. Boone High School, and is a graduate of the University of Central Florida. While attending college at the University of Central Florida, she became a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

She and her then-husband, Brian Kleinschmidt, appeared on The Amazing Race 15, where they placed third overall.

Dunlap gave birth to a daughter in 2020.[4]


In 2004, she was crowned Miss America, becoming the seventh African American woman to hold the title. Dunlap's platform was "United We Stand, Divided We Fall Behind: Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion." Dunlap appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Hollywood Squares, Live With Regis and Kelly, and Fox News’ The O'Reilly Factor. She also served as Grand Marshal of the Talladega 500 NASCAR race. She has also appeared in a number of movies, including District 9.

Ms. Dunlap's international appeal began with her travels to the Middle-East during her reign as Miss America to entertain and serve the American troops for Thanksgiving. Most recently, Ericka traveled to Afghanistan to once again boost morale.

Miss America 2004 Ericka Dunlap signing autographs at a Miss America 2008 pageant event in January 2008

Currently, Ericka is a Public Relations Specialist and has formed Crown Jewel Consulting. Her charitable organization, The Crown Jewel Foundation, promotes social development skills and image awareness in young girls, and is set to re-launch in the summer of 2011 with the Princess Power Project. She continues to travel as a special guest speaker as well as developing her entrepreneurial interests in her hometown of Orlando, Florida.[5]

Since the fall of 2013, Ericka has been seen as a judge at The American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World.

She ran for the Orlando City Commission, District 5 in 2017,[6] but lost to incumbent Regina Hill.[7]

In 2024, she partnered with Advil for the Pain Equity Project.[8]

April of 2024, Erika ran in the Orlando City Commissioner special election.[9] She would obtain 459 votes in the general special election, just 37 votes form continuing into the final runoff election.[10]


  1. ^ BlackPast - Ericka Dunlap biography
  2. ^ Rhinehart, Charlene (2017-03-29). "Gen Xers rejoice: Suck.com comes back as a daily newsletter". Black Enterprise. Retrieved 2019-04-19.
  3. ^ Browne, Tiffany (2020-02-13). "Meet first and only African American woman to win Miss Florida crown". WKMG-TV. Retrieved 2021-01-12.
  4. ^ Former Miss America shares how pageant helps pave the way for womens’ success
  5. ^ Dunlap Website
  6. ^ "Miss America 2004 Ericka Dunlap is Running for Orlando City Commission | Florida National News". 9 December 2016.
  7. ^ Hill, Stuart pull slim victories in Orlando City Council races; Gray coasts to re-election
  8. ^ Kim, Victoria (2024-01-03). "Dr. Ebony Butler Addresses The Lack Of Black Therapists And Managing Pain". NewsOne. Retrieved 2024-04-10.
  9. ^ "Seven candidates qualify in Orlando City Commission special election". mynews13.com. Retrieved 2024-04-24.
  10. ^ Kremposky, Averi (2024-05-22). "Shaniqua Rose, Travaris McCurdy to meet in runoff to decide Orlando's District 5 Special Election". WESH. Retrieved 2024-05-29.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by Miss America
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Katherine Carson
Miss Florida
Succeeded by