While Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have delayed the formal launch of their charity Archewell, issues relating to equity and justice continue to be a priority for the royal couple. Last month, the Duchess addressed the death of George Floyd during her virtual graduation speech for the class of 2020 at her former high school. She and Harry have also held multiple meetings with leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement in recent weeks.
And on Saturday, Meghan spoke with Althea Bernstein, an 18-year-old biracial woman who is the victim of an alleged hate crime in Madison, Wisconsin.
Bernstein told police she was driving at 1 a.m. when she stopped at a red light. She then heard someone yell a racial slur. The police report reads as follows:
She looked and saw four men, all white. She says one used a spray bottle to deploy a liquid on her face and neck, and then threw a flaming lighter at her, causing the liquid to ignite.
She drove forward, patted out the flames, and eventually drove home. Her mother encouraged her to go to a hospital. Hospital staff believed the liquid was lighter fluid.
Per NBC News, the Madison Police department has launched a hate crime investigation.
Meghan heard about Bernstein's story, which has garnered national attention, and reached out to try and speak with her. Michael Johnson, the President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County connected the two women, who had a conversation via phone on Saturday afternoon. Over the course of a 40-minute call, Bernstein and Meghan "talked about the importance of self care and allowing herself to heal," Johnson told local publication 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.'"
Johnson later tweeted about the conversation, revealing that Harry had joined for a portion of the call and that the Prince had spoken with Bernstein about the importance of young people's voices.
Johnson also noted that Meghan has "agreed to talk with girls in Wisconsin" in the future, and they're working to get that on the calendar.
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
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