Meghan Markle recently convened a special roundtable with young girls who are making an impact in their schools and communities.
The virtual gathering, which took place earlier this month between the Duchess of Sussex, Girls Inc. and the National Women’s Law Center, gave Meghan the opportunity to hear directly from adolescent girls about their experiences and stories, and to come together to honor and reflect on a long history of women changemakers.
“The Duchess believes girls’ voices can and should be heard, and through Archewell she focuses on providing them with the platforms, tools, and forums to help define a path forward and continue making an impact,” according to the official website for Meghan and Prince Harry’s non-profit organization, Archewell.
Meghan, who is expecting a baby girl this summer, heard from a powerful group of 13- 18-year-olds — primary girls of color — who are making a difference in their communities when it comes to education, social justice and health and wellness.
“The group spoke about everyday struggles during COVID-19, including identity loss and isolation, and larger issues of mental health, racial bias and injustice, and more. When asked what tools girls need to thrive in the year ahead, a common thread emerged: acknowledgement, support, empathy, and resources,” the site continues.
Meghan also reflected on the impact of trailblazing women throughout history, asking the girls to share which female figures have inspired them.
“Their answers included American civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, as well as Kala Bagai, one of the first South Asian women to immigrate to the United States in the early 20th century, who was known to many in her California community as ‘Mother India,’ ” according to Archewell.
Meghan and Harry previously shared the inspiration behind their foundation’s name, explaining, “Before SussexRoyal came the idea of ‘arche’ — the Greek word meaning ‘source of action.’ We connected to this concept for the charitable organization we hoped to build one day, and it became the inspiration for our son’s name. To do something of meaning, to do something that matters. Archewell is a name that combines an ancient word for strength and action, and another that evokes the deep resources we each must draw upon.”
Given the massive upheaval from both the COVID-19 pandemic and the racial justice movement, Meghan and Harry have refocused their efforts over the past year.
“Nobody could have counted on the world turning upside down,” a source previously told PEOPLE. “As many others have, they have been moved to get their voices behind supporting both the COVID-19 response and Black Lives Matter.”