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Meghan Markle Urges High School Students to Stand up to Racism & Police Brutality in Emotional Video

Although little has been heard or seen of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry since they moved back to her hometown of Los Angeles, the Duchess broke her silence on Thursday. In a moving and emotional speech, Meghan addressed the “absolutely devastating” state of our nation and how we begin to rebuild. And according to one source, she’s putting her words to action — she and Harry have reportedly been meeting with Black Lives Matters community leaders behind the scenes.

Meghan delivered her powerful speech to the graduating class of her alma mater, Immaculate Heart High School. “As we’ve all seen over the last week, what is happening in our country and in our state and in our hometown of L.A. has been absolutely devastating,” she began. “And I wasn’t sure what I could say to you. I wanted to say the right thing, and I was really nervous that I wouldn’t or that it would get picked apart, and I realized the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing.”

Visibly emotionally, Meghan continued, “Because George Floyd’s life mattered, and Breonna Taylor’s life mattered, and Philando Castile’s life mattered, and Tamir Rice’s life mattered. And so did so many other people whose names we know and whose names we do not know. Stephon Clark, his life mattered.”

She went on to recount her experience just before middle school of witnessing the L.A. riots, which were “also triggered by a senseless act of racism.”

“I can’t imagine that at 17 or 18 years old, which is how old you are now, that you would have to have a different version of that same type of experience. That’s something you should have an understanding of, but an understanding of as a history lesson — not as your reality. So I’m sorry, in a way, that we haven’t gotten the world to the place that you deserve it to be,” she told them.

While she acknowledged that this surely isn’t the graduation they’d imagined it would be, they have the unique opportunity to actualize immediate change. “Now you get to be a part of rebuilding,” she said. “And I know sometimes people say, How many times do we need to rebuild? You know what? We are going to rebuild and rebuild and rebuild until it is rebuilt. Because when the foundation is broken, so are we.”

Meghan wrapped up her speech by encouraging the graduates to go out and use their strengths to make a difference, telling them she can’t wait to see the leaders they’ll become. To that end, she and Harry will undoubtedly serve as role models.

According to Harpers Bazaar, “This is something that is incredibly personal to Meghan, especially given everything she has experienced. And as a couple it is, of course, very important. They are both feeling it, just like the rest of us.”

The couple has been quietly meeting with community leaders, including those connected to the Black Lives Matter movement. A source for Harpers Bazaar continued,  “Harry and Meghan have been having private conversations with community leaders and people at every level, as well as friends and family, about this issue since the start of recent events. By speaking to as many people and organizations as possible, it has been a way for them to feel connected to everything that’s going on and learn more about the issues surrounding it.”

Before you go, discover 12 books that explore systemic racism.

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