Meghan Markle to interview journalist on gender and representation in the media

Duchess of Sussex will interview co-founder and CEO of non-profit newsroom The 19th

Sabrina Barr
Friday 07 August 2020 13:59
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The Duchess of Sussex has been announced as a host at an upcoming virtual summit, which will feature conversations with notable women in politics, journalism, civic engagement and the arts.

The 19th, a new, non-profit newsroom launched during the coronavirus pandemic, takes it name from the 19th Amendment, which 100 years ago granted some women the right to vote in the US.

To mark its launch, the organisation is hosting a virtual summit in mid-August, which will see speakers including former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, US senator Kamala Harris and actor Meryl Streep ”raise the voices of women – past and present – who are reshaping the American story”.

On Thursday 6 August, four days before the summit is due to begin, The 19th announced that the Duchess of Sussex would be making an appearance to close the event, interviewing The 19th co-founder and CEO Emily Ramshaw about the organisation’s commitment to “create a transformative newsroom centred on gender equity”.

In a statement released in the lead-up to the summit, the duchess said it has “never been more important” to uplift individuals who are “often underrepresented in the media”.

“The 19th’s commitment to reporting and storytelling that lifts up those who are too often underrepresented in the media has never been more important,” Meghan said in a statement to Glamour.

“I’m looking forward to asking the co-founder what it means to build a media outlet with gender equity, diversity, and commitment at its core.”

On Twitter, Ramshaw revealed it was the duchess who reached out to The 19th, as she felt the organisation’s “vision of building a diverse and representative newsroom that covers women and other underserved people with nuance and empathy spoke to her immediately”.

“We’re looking forward to rounding out the programme by having the tables turned on us,” Ramshaw added in reference to her upcoming interview with Meghan.

The 19th Represents summit is due to take place from Monday 10 August to Friday 14 August, with Meghan’s interview with Ramshaw being held on the final day to close the event.

On the website for The 19th, the organisation states that is aim is to “empower those we serve – particularly women, people of colour and those historically underserved by American media – with the information, resources and community they need to be equal participants in our democracy”.

The newsroom emphasises that while more than half of the American electorate consists of women, “they remain underrepresented in government and in the nation’s executive ranks”.

Meghan’s upcoming appearance at The 19th Represents virtual summit is not the first time the duchess has used her platform to speak out on social issues as of late.

Last month, the former Suits actor stressed the importance of “drowning out the negative voices” while delivering a speech to young girls at the virtual 2020 Girl Up Leadership Summit.

In her keynote speech, the 39-year-old said that while “there will always be negative voices and sometimes those voices can appear to be outsized, and sometimes they can appear to be painfully loud”.

However, “you can and will use your own voices to drown out the noise”, she stated, emphasising that the voices of young girls “can and should be much louder”.

On Wednesday 1 July, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex took part in a video call organised by the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, which formed one of the Trust’s weekly sessions set up in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

During their conversation with young leaders from their home in Los Angeles, Meghan said that being complacent about racism “makes people complicit”.

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