Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan are ending 2020 on a very positive note. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex updated the website for their Archewell Foundation non-profit with a letter declaring their desire to "build a better world, one act of compassion at a time."
Alongside sweet childhood photos with their mothers, Princess Diana and Doria Ragland, Harry and Meghan wrote about the "compassion and kindness" they have experienced in their lives. "I am my mother’s son, and I am our son’s mother," the letter for 2021 reads. "Together we bring you Archewell. We believe in the best of humanity. Because we have seen the best of humanity ... From our mothers and strangers alike."
It continues, "In the face of fear, struggle and pain, it can be easy to lose sight of this. Together, we can choose courage, healing, and connection. Together, we can choose to put compassion in action."
The Archewell website update, complete with a stylish new monochrome logo, also shares announcements on new partnerships and work they have been undertaking throughout the year. The news includes details of the foundation’s partnership with former Google design ethicist Tristan Harris, who co-founded the Center for Humane Technology in 2013, to back research on ways to create safer and more compassionate online communities.
The couple also shared details of establishing an Archewell Foundation Fund for the UCLA Center for Critical Internet (C2i2) Inquiry research center, which champions racial and economic justice in the tech sector. The center’s co-director, Dr. Safiya Noble, who appeared in conversation with the couple for TIME's TIME100 Talks event in October, has commended the Sussexes’ efforts to illuminate the problems of equality and structural racism.
"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are deeply committed to using their light to illuminate the problems of inequality and structural racism," the author and UCLA professor says in a statement shared with BAZAAR.com. "We have a shared commitment and sense of urgency in making a more compassionate world, much of which is undermined by internet platforms. I know what they stand for, share in their mission. We look forward to lending our research expertise and networks to our mutual work on the most pressing issues of internet policy and culture that are accelerating racial, gender, and economic, inequity."
The Sussexes have launched the official website for Archewell alongside a special letter for 2021. The non-profit organisation, they write, will drive “systemic cultural change across all communities” through its work and creative activations
Link: https://t.co/LnncFA9clK pic.twitter.com/p6498mOdA1
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) December 31, 2020
This collaboration between C2i2 and the Archewell Foundation will build on the center’s existing network of scholars, practitioners, activists, and artists working on racial justice and community impact through research, culture making, and public policy. "We are thrilled about this partnership with the Archewell Foundation, which strengthens the much needed research we need on the role of the internet in society," says Tina Christie, Dean of the UCLA School of Education & Information Studies.
Community wellbeing is a large focus of the Archewell Foundation, with issues such as online bullying, hate speech on social media, and tech addiction high on the list of their efforts. "We listen to people and their communities, help them tell their stories, put real action behind our words, and spotlight a new generation of leadership," the website says of the impact-driven non-profit’s ambitions.
Uplifting communities offline is just as important for Archewell. A spokesperson for the couple also announced today, December 31, that the organization is partnering with The Loveland Foundation, a US-based initiative that focuses on providing accessible mental health therapy support and resources to Black women and girls.
Earlier this month, Archewell Foundation also shared news of a joint philanthropic partnership with World Central Kitchen to provide funding for four Community Relief Centers to be built in areas impacted by hunger. Work on the first building, located in Dominica, is already underway.
"Archewell uplifts communities through non-profit partnerships and creative activations," press secretary Toya Holness tells BAZAAR.com in a statement. "It’s a place where compassion matters, communities gather, and storytelling is the engine. The website has been updated to reflect the work Archewell has undertaken throughout 2020 and to create a place for people and communities around the world to share their stories."
Alongside site updates are details on the duke and duchess’s partnerships with Netflix and Spotify. In 2021 and beyond, their creative vehicles, Archewell Productions and Archewell Audio, will use storytelling and impactful narratives to empower a wide range of voices and communities, as well as highlighting issues of social injustice around the world.
The couple have also made a call to action to those interested in the foundation’s work, asking for people to share stories of how they, or someone they know, have acted with compassion in the last year.
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