After once again settling in the United States after years abroad, Meghan Markle is actively joining the fight against racial injustice and gender inequality in her home country. While the Duchess of Sussex has been making the rounds over the past few months in a series of virtual interviews and addresses aimed at encouraging social change, her latest digital appearance at The 19th Represents Summit was one of the most candid yet. Although the roles were reversed and Markle was the one interviewing the co-founder and CEO of new non-profit newsroom The 19th during their inaugural summit featuring an impressive list of female leaders, such as vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris and Academy-Award winning actor Meryl Streep, Markle also opened up about her own experiences as a bi-racial woman and how she plans to use her voice as a force for progress.
“From my standpoint, it’s not new to see this undercurrent of racism and certainly unconscious bias, but I think to see the changes that are being made right now is really — it’s something I look forward to being a part of,” shared Markle. “And being part of using my voice in a way that I haven’t been able to of late.”
Speaking about her long-awaited homecoming after stepping down from her royal duties back in March, Markle described her first reaction to returning to California in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor as “devastating”. Yet, as the Black Lives Matter movement gained traction, peaceful protests arose in not only all 50 states but also in countries all around the world, and honest conversations about race and privilege occurred across communities of various backgrounds, her ensuing reaction was one of hope.
“If there’s any silver lining in that, I would say that in the weeks after the murder of George Floyd, in the peaceful protests that you were seeing, in the voices that were coming out, in the way that people were actually owning their role and acknowledging their role that they played—either actively or passively—in the discrimination of other people, specifically the black community, it shifted from sadness to a feeling of absolute inspiration, because I can see that the tide is turning,” explained Markle, adding that “it’s good to be home.”
As a member of the British royal family and a former Hollywood actor, Markle has faced her fair share of scrutiny in the spotlight—most notoriously by British tabloids. Alluding to this ongoing fight for privacy, the Duchess also commented on this “economy for attention” the current media landscape has cultivated and how “salacious” gossip is quickly overriding “truthful” news.
“What’s so fascinating, at least from my standpoint and my personal experience the past couple of years, is that the headline alone, the clickbait alone, makes an imprint,” revealed Markle. “That is part of how we start to view the world, how we interact with other people…I think that once we can get back to the place where people are just telling the truth in their reporting and telling it through a compassionate or empathetic lens, it’s going to help bind people as a community.”