Today, Meghan Markle addressed 40,000 young women as part of the virtual Girl Up Leadership Summit, delivering an inspiring speech to encourage them to continue to fight for change in the world.
In the almost nine-minute long clip, Meghan (wearing a bright blue top believed to be by Adam Lippes) told the attendees that “this is a humanity that desperately needs you. To push it, to push us, forcefully in a more inclusive, more just and more empathetic direction. And to not only frame the debate, but be in charge of the debate – on racial justice, gender, climate change, mental health and wellbeing, civic engagement, on public service and so much more.”
She also praised the attendees for the activism and work they have already begun, saying, “Girl Up Members are organizing Black Lives Matter protests around the world, you are creating films to encourage your peers to become activist leaders, you are reforming the criminal justice system, you are telling your school boards we need more mental health resources for all ages, you are leading coalitions to end gun violence. You are standing up and demanding to be heard, but you’re also demanding to own the conversation.”
Meghan noted that their generation is “often referred to as digital natives” and encouraged the young women watching to band together to harness the power of the digital world for change. “You understand that our online world has the power to affirm and support as much as it does to harm. But we are not meant to be breaking each other down; we are meant to be building each other up. So use your voice both on- and offline to do just that – build each other up, support each other.” She continued, “There will always be negative voices and sometimes those voices can appear to be outsized and sometimes they can appear to be painfully loud. You can and will use your own voices to drown out the noise. Because that’s what it is – just noise. But your voices are those of truth, and hope. And your voices can and should be much louder.”
The Duchess also seemingly referred to her own personal experiences when urging young women to follow their instincts. “Continue to believe in yourselves, believe in what makes you unique, and don’t be afraid to do what you know is right even when it’s not popular. Even when it’s never been done before. Even if it scares people. Even if it scares you,” she said.
As she wrapped up the speech, Meghan acknowledged that it’s “easy to get overwhelmed” with the all of the issues currently facing the world but she offered this advice: “Be where you are in the moment. The growth and change you’re pursuing might not feel like anything day-to-day but when you look back, I promise you will see that it all adds up.” She added that they’ll have some cheerleaders on their side whilst they’re at it, too. “I will be cheering you on, so will my husband, so will Archie,” Meghan said, “as you all continue marching, advocating and leading the way forward.”
Watch the speech in full below:
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