Close this search box.

Michelle Dee promotes autism acceptance in Miss U advocacy video

by Joanna Deala

FILIPINA beauty queen Michelle Dee firmly believes that every individual deserves “to live a fulfilled life,” which is why she continues to advocate for autism awareness in the 72nd Miss Universe pageant.

In an advocacy clip she shared on Instagram, Dee talked about three things that are “very close” to her heart: autism acceptance, inclusivity, and empowerment. She said that these are the “three foundational pillars to creating a more inclusive and sustainable world.”

“We live in a world where every voice should matter and every individual is given the opportunity to live a fulfilled life,” she wrote in the caption.

Dee said in the video that one in 100 children is born with autism. 

She has been passionate about autism awareness because of her two brothers, Mazenne and Adam, who were both diagnosed with autism and other individuals on the spectrum.

The 28-year-old beauty queen has been a goodwill ambassador of Autism Society Philippines (ASP), Southeast Asia’s largest non-governmental organization, for years. 

In 2015, the NGO launched the ASP Autism Works program to support more than 250 neurodiverse individuals by offering them jobs in 53 enterprises across 10 provinces in the country.

This is because they face lower employment rates of up to 80 percent and higher rates of social isolation globally, according to the beauty queen.

She noted that these individuals have found not just jobs but meaningful careers through the program. But this is just among the many good things that could happen if people prioritize inclusivity and harness the “untapped potential” of the individuals on the spectrum, she added.

Dee also stressed that giving job opportunities to these people is also a “strategic advantage” for employers because they possess a “unique skill set” that can make them “valuable assets” to companies.

“As we work towards the sustainable development goal of creating opportunities for all, let’s remember that we are not alone in this journey,” she said.

She continued, “We stand united with individuals on the autism spectrum and their families, and together, we can build a more inclusive, empowering, and sustainable for all.”

The beauty queen ended her advocacy video by encouraging everyone to be “the voice for those who don’t have one,” be “the reason why millions of lives become empowered,” and be “a true force for good.”

Top delegate

The Miss Universe Organization announced that Dee is among the top three delegates in the Asia-Pacific, based on the pageant’s fan voting as of October 20.

She is joined by Myanmar’s Amara Bo and Thailand’s Anntonia Porslid in the list.

Filipinos can still vote for the Philippines’ representative by downloading the Miss Universe app on iPhone or android. 

Each individual is entitled to one free vote, but they may cast additional votes by availing vote packages.

The winner of the fan vote will automatically advance to the semifinals.

Dee is vying for the Philippines’ fifth Miss Universe crown in the 72nd Miss Universe pageant to be held in El Salvador on November 18.



We have the stories you’ll want to read.

RepublicAsia Newsletter