According to Meghan and Prince Harry's Archewell website, "The Duchess of Sussex convened a roundtable with Girls Inc. and National Women’s Law Center to give adolescent girls a platform to speak about the breadth of challenges their generation is facing at this moment — a moment when their voices, and their actions, have never been so urgently needed. 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 Suits star, 39, was joined at the virtual forum by Stephanie J. Hull and Fatima Goss Graves, the respective leaders of Girls Inc. and National Women's Law Center. The discussion included a "passionate group of 13- to 18-year-olds — primarily girls of color — who are young activists," the website says.
The girls — who hope to break out in the medical field or become the next U.S. President — are already using their voices to talk about "education, social justice and health and wellness in their own schools and communities."
"The group spoke about everyday struggles during COVID-19, including identity loss and isolation, and larger issues of mental health, racial bias and injustice, and more. When asked what tools girls need to thrive in the year ahead, a common thread emerged: acknowledgement, support, empathy, and resources," the website continues.
For her part, Meghan "reflected on the impact of trailblazing women throughout history whose stories can move us to meet the moment," and asked the girls which female figures they look up to.
"Their answers included American civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, as well as Kala Bagai, one of the first South Asian women to immigrate to the United States in the early 20th century, who was known to many in her California community as 'Mother India,'" the website adds.
"Girls Inc. is proud to have participated in a roundtable with The Duchess of Sussex and Archewell Foundation, along with the National Women's Law Center, that elevated the voices and experiences of girls. We believe girls are innately powerful and the leaders our future needs," Hull told BAZAAR.com. "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."
Graves also enjoyed her time with Meghan and the other women.
"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 said. "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."