Anyone can be a leader and in a world where women are often silenced, girls need to be reminded of their power and voice. Meghan Markle recently helped elevate the next generation of girl leaders by hosting a roundtable that gave them the platform to speak about the challenges their generation is facing, per Harpers Bazaar. Markle and the Archewell Foundation (the impact-driven non-profit created by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex) joined the virtual forum hosted by the leaders of Girls Inc, Stephanie J. Hull, and Fatima Goss Graves, and the National Women’s Law Center. The Duchess heard from a passionate group of 13 to 18-year-old young activists that were primarily girls of color as they spoke about everyday struggles during COVID-19, like identity loss and isolation, and larger issues surrounding mental health, racial bias and injustice, and more. According to Archewell, when asked what tools girls need for the year ahead a common theme was “acknowledgment, support, empathy, and resources.”
As noted by the Foundation, amid the pandemic, The Duchess has been working with communities of girls and girl-serving organizations by listening and learning directly from the new generation of leaders. She participated in a virtual mentoring session with a teen girl from L.A. Works and the “I Have a Dream” Foundation during Women’s History Month. During Black History Month she joined a diverse group of young poets from the organizations Get Lit-Words Ignite that believe in creating change through the power of words.
The website for Archewell shared the news on April 8, 2021, and wrote at the time, “The Duchess believes girls’ voices can and should be heard, and through Archewell she focuses on providing them with the platforms, tools, and forums to help define a path forward and continue making an impact.”
The President and CEO of Girls Inc. told BAZAAR.com in a statement, “We were honored to have Girls Inc. girls join The Duchess in a discussion about the issues that most affect them and the ways in which we can work together to drive social change and create a more compassionate and equitable world. We are grateful to have The Duchess as a champion and advocate for girls and women.”
The president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, Fatima Goss Graves, also told the outlet, “The National Women’s Law Center is thrilled to have joined The Duchess of Sussex and our friends at Girls Inc. to hear from girls directly about the challenges they are facing and their dreams for a more just and equitable future.” Graves continued, “Our work is always guided by those who are closest to the problem, and that is perhaps most true of our work in support of girls—and their right to learn and live with safety, equity, and dignity. In this moment as we begin to imagine what it is like to reopen and recover from the pandemic, we must seize the opportunity to center the experiences of girls—especially girls of color and LGBTQ+ youth—in how we reimagine our culture and curriculum, our policies and our priorities.“