Meghan Markle gives a powerful speech as part of the virtual 2020 Girl Up Leadership Summit

WION Web Team New Delhi Jul 15, 2020, 07.00 AM(IST)

Meghan Markle Photograph:( AFP )

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“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." said Meghan among other things in her keynote address.  

Meghan Markle was part of the virtual 2020 Girl Up Leadership Summit as she addressed young women around the world and told them that their voices need to be heard and that they are important. She said, “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.”

In a major keynote speech at the virtual 2020 Girl Up Leadership Summit yesterday, Meghan Markle spoke on issues that matter to her -- gender equity, racial injustice, youth empowerment, and the importance of creating a healthy digital community. Her address took place on the second day of the United Nations Foundation event.

She said, “Your generation is often referred to as digital natives, and you understand that our online world has the power to affirm and support as much as it does to harm. 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. ... Your voices are those of truth. And hope. And your voices can and should be much louder.”

She went on, “Look, sometimes it’s not obvious what to do. Often, it’s fear that paralyzes us and stops us from being brave and being bold. But don’t underestimate that you have some of those answers within. Don’t underestimate your ability to push through the fear. You have, rooted in your convictions, the ability to craft a world that you know is just and kind. Your gut will tell you what’s right and what’s wrong, what’s fair and unfair. The hardest part—and it was the hardest part for me—is to chase your convictions with action.”

“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, yes, but you’re also demanding to own the conversation. I know you have already done so much and made so many people’s lives better. The moment we are living through right now asks all of us to do more. It’s a moment where your voices, and your action, have never been more urgently needed,” she added.

Listen to her speech here:

Meghan also pressed on the importance of being an activist for equality: “Believing in true equality is not enough—it’s going to take more than belief, we have to work for it every day; even when it's hard and even when it makes others feel uneasy. We have to speak up for ourselves and we have to speak out for others who struggle to be heard.”

“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. To not only frame the debate, but be in charge of the debate—on racial justice, gender, climate change, mental health and wellbeing, on civic engagement, on public service, on so much more. That’s the work you’re already out there doing.”

The summit began on July 13, when Michelle Obama spoke about the importance of girls’ education in a special message. 

Concluding her remarks, she said, “If you look at the breadth of the issues we’re facing right now, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, I understand. So 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’ll see it all adds up.”

Priyanka Chopra to join Michelle Obama, Meghan Markle for a global leadership summit