Meghan Markle - Actress, Activist and Member of the British Royal Family

Meghan Markle - Actress, Activist and Member of the British Royal Family

Meghan Markle is an American actress, known in particular thanks to the series "Suits", who became a member of the British royal family since her marriage to Prince Harry in 2018. She is also a woman very committed to many humanitarian causes, and this from a very young age.

From the age of 10, she campaigned against the Gulf War with friends. Decades later, she advocates for abortion rights, voting rights, paid leave for parents, publicly supports Moms Demand Action, an organization that campaigns for safer gun laws in the United States, and much more.

In 2014, she became an advisor for the international network One Young World, a summit for the young leaders of tomorrow, manifesting the reality of a common humanity and the shared experience of all people in one world.

That same year, she toured Spain, Italy, Turkey, Afghanistan and England with the United Service Organizations, a non-profit organization that provides recreation and moral support services to members of the U.S. military with programs in more than 135 centers around the world. While in Toronto, she volunteered for the St. Felix Center's community meal program and donates food from the set of her series "Suits."

In 2016, Markle became a global ambassador for World Vision Canada, a Christian relief, development and advocacy NGO to overcome poverty and injustice. She travels to Rwanda for their Clear Water Campaign to provide safe, clean drinking water and to India to raise awareness of women's rights issues.

After a trip to India focused on raising awareness of women's issues, she wrote an op-ed for Time magazine about the stigma of women's menstrual health. She also works with UN Women, a United Nations organization that fights for gender equality and women's empowerment around the world.

A strong feminist, Meghan uses her role as a member of the royal family to continue to support women's rights and social justice.

In 2017, she joined Prince Harry in teaming up with the charity Elephants Without Borders to help with species conservation efforts in Botswana.

In January 2018, Markle took an interest in the Hubb Community Kitchen, run by survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire. She visits the kitchen regularly, and suggests that the exiled women publish a cookbook to help fund the group.

Together: Our Community Cookbook is her first charity project as Duchess of Sussex. In 2021, Meghan is using the recipes from the cookbook to donate £10,000 to the UK-based charity Himmah to help them stock the group's food bank, provide them with supplies and help the Salaam Shalom Kitchen, the only Muslim and Jewish community kitchen in the UK.

In 2019, along with other members of the Royal Family, Meghan voices a Public Health England ad, for the mental health program "Every Mind Matters."

She is also a guest editor and contributor to the September issue of British Vogue to highlight the work of 15 women from different fields, described as "forces for change."

The issue also announces Meghan's collaboration with a number of British fashion houses and stores to launch a capsule collection, "The Smart Set," in aid of the charity Smart Works, which seeks to help unemployed and disadvantaged women by selling items "on a one-for-one basis" (i.e., one item is donated for every item purchased). The collection provided a year's worth of clothing for the charity in 10 days, and this issue of British Vogue will become the magazine's "fastest-selling issue in history."

In 2020, Meghan spoke out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and participated in the documentary "Elephant" as a narrator, in support of Elephant Without Borders, with Disney Nature and the Disney Conservation Fund.

That same year, Meghan and Harry launched Archewell Inc, a U.S. public organization that focuses on nonprofit activities and creative media companies.

They privately volunteer to deliver food prepared by Project Angel Food to Los Angeles residents in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and support the Stop Hate for Profit campaign.

They also help distribute school supplies to students, and work with Baby2Baby, a nonprofit organization that provides diapers, clothing and other necessities to poor children in the Los Angeles area and disaster zones around the country.

In 2021, Meghan published a children's picture book, "The Bench," and also recorded it as an audiobook.

With Harry, they chair the campaign for Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World, an event organized by Global Citizen to improve access to vaccines against Covid-19. They also announced their support for a vaccine equity fundraiser launched by the same organization and wrote an open letter to pharmaceutical CEOs asking them to address the crisis.

That same year, Meghan launches the 40x40 campaign, urging people around the world to give 40 minutes of their time to mentor women re-entering the workforce.

In 2022, Meghan Markle launched her podcast "Archetypes." The first episode quickly became a hit: after only a few days, it reached number one on the list of most listened-to podcasts on Spotify in six countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom.

"Archetypes" consists of twelve episodes of approximately one hour. In it, Meghan welcomes women from all walks of life, accomplished and established women, to discuss feminist themes in a frank and intimate manner. She speaks openly about her personal life and discusses the stereotypes and labels attributed to women in various communities, as well as the twelve archetypes that influence our lives and try to keep women down.

One archetype is discussed in each episode, and each guest is asked about their personal journey in relation to the archetype discussed.

In an introduction to her podcast, "Crazy, Dragon Lady, Slut, B.I.T.C.H, the D word, a Diva… These are words you hear a lot, in the media, online, in people’s homes, they’re thrown around casually […]. It’s time to cut through the noise. We’re going to get to the roots of these words […] and understand why they persist. Along the way, we’re laughing, we’re learning, we are reclaiming our own identities."

In the first episode, "The Misconception of Ambition," Meghan hosts Serena Williams, a major tennis champion and businesswoman. Here they discuss the concept of ambition and examine the double standard women face when they are labeled ambitious, as well as the ripple effect it can have on other aspects of their lives. Dr. Laura Kray, a leading expert on gender in the workplace, also weighs in on this "groundbreaking" first episode.

In the second episode, "The Duality of Diva," Meghan hosts singer Mariah Carey. They talk about the complexities surrounding "diva": its glamour, power and elegance, but also the more negative connotations associated with the word. Also featured in this conversation are actress Amanda Seales (formerly known by her stage name Amanda Diva) and Dr. Mashinka Firunts Hakopian, a feminist and media studies specialist.

The third episode, "The Stigma of the Singleton," welcomes actress, writer and producer Mindy Kaling. She opens up candidly about the joys, challenges and stigmas of her life as a single, unmarried woman and her decision to start a family on her own. In this episode, New York Magazine writer Rebecca Traister analyzes the many archetypes that have followed single women for generations.

In the fourth episode, "The Demystification of Dragon Lady," Meghan engages in a frank and illuminating conversation with journalist Lisa Ling and stand-up comedian Margaret Cho about the archetypes that attempt to limit and define Asian women. They explore the power of representation and finding your voice for the AAPI community and beyond. Sociologist Nancy Wang Yuen also weighs in on this episode.

Future episodes will feature actress Constance Wu, writer/actress Issa Rae, talk show host Ziwe, and will explore the archetypes "spinster," "bimbo," "crazy," "angry black woman," "bitch," or even "slut."

"I feel different. I feel clearer. It’s like I’m finding – not finding my voice, I’ve had my voice for a long time – but being able to use it." - Meghan Markle on her podcast, interview for The Cut.


Podcast :

Transcript of the episodes :


© Photo: wholives no Vimeo - CC BY 2.5

Article by Julie Poutrel for Adama Toulon.