Meghan Markle and Prince Harry accepted the President's Award at the NAACP Image Awards on Saturday, February 26, for their work with the Archewell Foundation, which they launched in 2020.
"It's inspiring to think about the legacy of the Image Awards, which began shortly after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were passed into law," Meghan shared. "Today, we can continue that legacy by re-establishing federal voting protections in our country and fulfilling the work of civil rights giants, like the late John Lewis. We are so deeply humbled to be here in the company of so many illustrious awardees."
Harry added, "Before I begin, we would like to acknowledge the people of Ukraine, who urgently need our continued support as a global community. I also echo the immense gratitude for tonight, both for this award and this community for welcoming me so warmly. I think it's safe to say that I come from a very different background from my incredible wife, yet our lives were brought together for a reason. We share a commitment to a life of service, a responsibility to combat injustice and a belief that the most often overlooked are the most important to listen to."
Meghan added, "And I couldn't be prouder that we're doing this work together. We moved to California, my home state, shortly before the murder of George Floyd. For Black America, those nine minutes and 29 seconds transcended time, invoking centuries of our unhealed wounds. In the months that followed, as my husband and I spoke with the civil rights community, we committed ourselves and our organization, Archewell, to illuminating those who are advancing racial justice and progress."
The two also teamed up with the NAACP for a new annual award called the NAACP Archewell Digital Civil Rights Award, which will focus on leaders who are changing the world.
"Last night, President Johnson presented this new award to its first recipient, Dr. Safiya Noble, cofounder of the UCLA center for critical internet inquiry, a renowned scholar, author and advocate. Dr. Noble is a visionary and partner to Archewell," Meghan said.
Harry added, "Safiya's work speaks to a new chapter in the movement for civil rights. This community knows what it means to speak up for what is right and to march for what is just. As this fight for justice still remains, it's time to extend this march to the world online, a place where hate and discrimination are fueled instantly, propagated globally and felt deeply."
"This is the era of the digital justice movement. We are proud to partner with NAACP and each of you to translate the vital efforts of those who came before us to the modern challenges that exist ahead of us," Meghan said. "Thank you so much for joining us in this work, and thank you again for this incredible honor. Truly."
The duo, who left the royal family in 2020, looked happy. The former actress wore a blue gown by Christopher John Rogers, while Harry's black tuxedo is by Ozwald Boateng.