After learning about the case of Althea Bernstein — an 18-year-old black woman who was reportedly the victim of a racist crime in Madison, Wisconsin — the Duchess of Sussex personally reached out to her.
This week, Bernstein was allegedly set on fire by four white men while stopped at a red light in her car. One man approached her vehicle and sprayed her face with lighter fluid before throwing a flaming lighter through the car window. She was treated for burns at a nearby hospital. Horrified by her story, Meghan decided to make a personal phone call.
According to Michael Johnson, the acting spokesperson for Bernstein and the president of the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, Meghan and Bernstein chatted for nearly an hour. "[Bernstein] and Meghan talked about the importance of self care and allowing herself to heal," Johnson told Channel 3000. "And she applauded her for the way that she responded and pretty much said, 'Hey Michael, give me her cellphone number. I want to stay in touch. And let me know when you want me to come back and talk to people in Wisconsin.'"
On the phone with Prince Harry and Meghan Markel the Duchess of Sussex. Prince Harry shared that young people voices matter and Meghan has agreed to talk with girls in Wisconsin and we will be scheduling that soon. Thank you for caring! pic.twitter.com/FoVs6ewRgo
— Michael Johnson (@MJohnsonCEO) June 27, 2020
During their conversation, Meghan advised Bernstein to take a break from social media to avoid any negative comments and the pair bonded over being biracial. Meanwhile, Prince Harry also joined the call for a short time, according to Johnson.
Following her call with Bernstein, the duchess reportedly agreed to speak with young people from Wisconsin via a virtual town hall, which will be scheduled in a few weeks. “As I heard her, I thought ‘She has to talk to more kids,’ and I’m thankful she agreed to do it,” Johnson said of Meghan, after comparing her compassion to that of "a seasoned high school counselor."