Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle has never shied from publicly addressing hot-button social issues, even as a child or, in her pre-Prince Harry career, as an actor. When she was 11, a Procter & Gamble soap ad with the slogan, “Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans,” caught the budding feminist’s attention, Inside Edition reported. Writing a letter directly to the company (and then-First Lady Hillary Clinton), Meghan succeeded in having “women” changed to “people.” A younger Duchess is shown in the video, quipping, “I don’t think it is right for kids to grow up thinking these things, that just Mom does everything.”
As a star on USA’s “Suits,” Meghan would pen a 2016 piece for Elle UK on navigating her way through life and Hollywood as a biracial woman. In her essay, entitled “I’m More Than an ‘Other’,” the former actor described her dad’s memorable advice as a child after being forced to check only one census box under “ethnicity” at school one day. “If that happens again, you draw your own box,” Meghan recalled her father telling her.
These experiences all continue to shape the actor-turned-royal-turned-freelancer as she embarks on her life post-resignation from the British royal family. Read on to learn what Meghan said at an April 2021 digital roundtable with young girls, where she encouraged them to embrace their role in shaping social justice.
Meghan Markle encouraged young women to speak up about social justice issues
In late April 2021, Meghan Markle hosted a virtual roundtable with young women’s rights activists from the groups Girls Inc. and The National Women’s Law Center. Per Meghan and husband Prince Harry’s website, Archewell, the discussion revolved around “everyday struggles during COVID-19” which included “identity loss and isolation, and larger issues of mental health, racial bias and injustice, and more.” The conversation’s attendees included girls aged 13-18, who were mainly young women of color.
During the event, Meghan told the teens to “challenge injustice” and embrace their power to enact change, per The Daily Mail. She also asked the young women to share some powerful female leaders throughout history who inspired them, per The Sun. Some of their answers included Kala Bagai and Fannie Lou Hamer.
Not long before the roundtable, Meghan’s March 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey shed intimate light on how two of the above issues allegedly touched her while she was a senior member of the British royal family. For one, she told Winfrey of the alleged disregard for her mental health within the palace. Then, of course, there was the racially-toned conversation that allegedly happened between Harry and another senior royal family member over their son Archie’s potential skin tone. Meghan is just the public figure to help young women tackle social issues, and the event was clearly inspiring to its attendees.
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