The Duchess of Sussex is reflecting on how the last few months in America—including the Covid-19 crisis, Black Lives Matter Movement, and high-stakes 2020 presidential election—are affecting our culture at large.
As a special guest for Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit, which kicked off today, Meghan spoke with Fortune editor Ellen McGirt about how society can work together to revamp the digital world, especially amid such a tumultuous time for the country. In recent months, both Meghan and her husband, Prince Harry, have consistently campaigned against the spread of misinformation and hate speech online with their respective patronages and during other virtual addresses.
"It seems so fantastical, but that's actually the current state of affairs and that is shaping how we interact with each other online and off—and that's the piece that's important," said Meghan during the interview, according The Huffington Post. "It is not just an isolated experience. It transcends into how you interact with anyone around you and certainly your own relationship with yourself."
The duchess continued, sharing that she views the current cultural climate, very much shaped by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, as a hybrid moment that's allowed society to slow down and "reset," as well as sit and analyse the issues currently affecting Americans as a whole.
"[We] are all going through a reset and we are all going through a moment of reckoning—and probably a re-evaluation of what really matters," added Meghan. "For me, it's been amazing to spend time with my husband and watch our little one grow and that's where our attention has been. In addition to, of course, how we can be a part of the change of energy that so many people are craving right now and whatever we can do to help in that capacity."
Meghan reiterated the importance of working to shape a kinder, more humane online experience and expressed that their new nonprofit foundation, Archewell, would work to uphold those same values.
"Part of our focus with the Archewell Foundation is to just ensure that we are helping foster healthy, positive communities—online and off—for our collective wellbeing," said Meghan. "It really just includes not contributing to or even clicking on misinformation. And when you know something is wrong, reporting it, talking about it, ensuring that the facts are getting out there. I think that is one clear, tangible thing that everyone could be doing."
Meghan concluded her appearance with a quote from famed artist Georgia O'Keeffe, alluding to her own personal experience with being a highly notable figure existing in the social media age.
"I used to have a quote up in my room many, many moons ago, and it resonates now maybe more than ever when you see the vitriol and noise that can be out in the world, and it's by Georgia O'Keeffe," she said.
"'I have already settled it for myself so flattery and criticism go down the same drain, and I am quite free'," she recited. "The moment that you are able to be liberated from all these other opinions of what you know to be true, it's very easy to live with truth and with authenticity, and that's how I choose to move through the world."
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