Duchess Meghan Markle gave a powerful speech to the graduating students at Los Angeles’ Immaculate Heart High School during a commencement address on Wednesday (June 3).
“For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been planning on saying a few words to you for your graduation and as we all have seen over the past few weeks, what is happening in our country and in our state and in our hometown of L.A. has been absolutely devastating. And I wasn’t sure what I could say to you. I wanted to say the right thing. And I was really nervous that I wouldn’t, or that it would get picked apart, and I realized—the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing,” the Duchess began.
“Because George Floyd‘s life mattered, and Breonna Taylor‘s life mattered, and Philando Castile‘s life mattered, and Tamir Rice‘s life mattered, and so did so many other people whose names we know and whose names we don’t know. Stephon Clark. His life mattered,” she added. “The first thing I want to say to you is that I’m sorry. I’m so sorry you have to grow up in a world where this is still present.”
“You are going to lead with love, you are going to lead with compassion, you are going to use your voice. You are going to use your voice in a stronger way than you have ever been able to, because most of you are 18, or you’re going to turn 18, so you’re going to vote. You are going to have empathy for those who don’t see the world through the same lens that you do—because with as diverse, vibrant, and open-minded as I know the teachings at Immaculate Heart are, I know you know that black lives matter. You are equipped, you are ready, we need you, and you’re prepared,” she added.
The Duchess made headlines this week after a resurfaced video featured her speaking about racism years ago.
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