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Meghan Markle, The Duchess of Sussex is advocating for paid parental leave for parents across the US.

Meghan Markle, The Duchess of Sussex is advocating for paid parental leave for parents across the US.

Meghan Markle Calls for Paid Leave in a Moving Open Letter to Congress
“In taking care of your child, you take care of your community, and you take care of your country. … This is about putting families above politics,” the Duchess of Sussex wrote.

The Duchess of Sussex addressed her letter, which was published on Paidleaveforall.com, to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, passionately writing about why nationally mandated paid leave is essential for all American parents.

“I’m not an elected official, and I’m not a politician. I am, like many, an engaged citizen and a parent,” began Meghan’s letter. “And because you and your congressional colleagues have a role in shaping family outcomes for generations to come, that’s why I’m writing to you at this deeply important time—as a mom—to advocate for paid leave.”

The duchess continued, “Over the past 20 months, the pandemic has exposed long-existing fault lines in our communities. At an alarming rate, millions of women dropped out of the workforce, staying home with their kids as schools and daycares were closed, and looking after loved ones full-time. The working mom or parent is facing the conflict of being present or being paid. The sacrifice of either comes at a great cost.

“For many, this sacrifice goes back further than the past 20 months; it’s 20 or 30 years, even longer,” continued Meghan. “Decades of giving time, body, and endless energy not just in the pursuit of the American dream, but simply the dream of stability.”

Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex believes it’s time for #PaidLeaveforAll. In a powerful letter to Congress, she’s standing up for millions of American families who need and deserve guaranteed paid leave.

In the letter, Meghan reflected on her own upbringing. She wrote that as a child, she witnessed her family’s struggles balancing parenthood and finances and held a job from a young age. The duchess also mentioned her newborn daughter, Lilibet Diana, acknowledging that own financial circumstances provide a level of ease that most American families can’t access.

“In June, my husband and I welcomed our second child. Like any parents, we were overjoyed. Like many parents, we were overwhelmed. Like fewer parents, we weren’t confronted with the harsh reality of either spending those first few critical months with our baby or going back to work,” added Meghan. “We knew we could take her home, and in that vital (and sacred) stage, devote any and everything to our kids and to our family. We knew that by doing so we wouldn’t have to make impossible choices about childcare, work, and medical care that so many have to make every single day.

“No family should be faced with these decisions,” wrote the duchess. “No family should have to choose between earning a living and having the freedom to take care of their child (or a loved one, or themselves, as we would see with a comprehensive paid leave plan).”

Meghan concluded her letter by advocating for a national paid leave mandate for all American parents, arguing that doing so not only takes care of communities, but the country as a whole.

“In taking care of your child, you take care of your community, and you take care of your country—because when paid leave is a right, we’re creating a foundation that helps address mental health outcomes, health care costs, and economic strength at the starting line,” said Meghan. “Paid leave should be a national right, rather than a patchwork option limited to those whose employers have policies in place, or those who live in one of the few states where a leave program exists…This is about putting families above politics.”

Meghan signed the letter from her entire family, writing “On behalf of my family, Archie and Lili and Harry, I thank you for considering this letter, and on behalf of all families, I ask you to ensure this consequential moment is not lost.”

Prince Harry and Leonardo DiCaprio Team Up to Fight ‘Imminent Threat’ to a Beloved Region of Africa

Prince Harry and Leonardo DiCaprio Team Up to Fight ‘Imminent Threat’ to a Beloved Region of Africa
Prince Harry and Leonardo DiCaprio Team Up to Fight ‘Imminent Threat’ to a Beloved Region of Africa
Forest Whitaker and Dijmon Hounsou have joined the Duke of Sussex and the Oscar winner in calling for an end to drilling “destruction” in the Okavango River Basin

Prince Harry’s campaign to stop oil drilling in Africa has added some high-profile supporters.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Forest Whitaker and Djimon Hounsou have joined the Duke of Sussex, 37, and leading conservationists in calling for an immediate suspension on oil and gas drilling in the Okavango River Basin, according to a press release from Re:wild.

The Okavango River Basin has a network of river systems traversing Angola, Botswana and Namibia which supplies water to nearly 1 million people as well as the region’s wildlife population. It also encompasses the Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its biodiversity, and two vital Ramsar wetland sites.

Canadian oil and gas company Reconnaissance Energy Africa (ReconAfrica) began drilling the Okavango River Basin in late 2020 after they obtained a license for exploratory drilling across a 13,200-square-mile area despite concern from local communities.

In an op-ed published by Prince Harry and Namibian environmental activist, conservationist and poet Reinhold Mangundu in the Washington Post on October 14, the pair warned of the “permanent destruction” due to the drilling.

“We believe this would pillage the ecosystem for potential profit,” they said. “Some things in life are best left undisturbed to carry out their purpose as a natural benefit. This is one of them.”

Prince Harry and Mangundu cite a recent pipeline leak off the coast of California, which left more than 140,000 gallons of oil in the Pacific Ocean, and a July fire in the Gulf of Mexico caused by oil extraction.

“There is no way to repair the damage from these kinds of mistakes,” they said. “Drilling is an outdated gamble that reaps disastrous consequences for many, and incredible riches for a powerful few. It represents a continued investment in fossil fuels instead of renewable energies.”

The pair added, “The risk of drilling will always outweigh the perceived reward. In a region already facing the abuse of exploitation, poaching and fires, the risk is even higher. Knowing the above, why would you be drilling for oil in such a place?”

Prince Harry, who visited Africa on many occasions beginning as a young boy, has called the continent his “second home.” Harry is president of African Parks and patron of the Rhino Conservation Botswana. He also co-founded Sentebale in 2006 with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, a charity to support young people affected by HIV and AIDS in Lesotho, Botswana and Malawi.

He visited Botswana early in his relationship with Meghan Markle in the summer of 2016.

“I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana. We camped out with each other under the stars. She came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic,” Harry said after their engagement. “So then we were really by ourselves, which was crucial to me to make sure that we had a chance to know each other.”

DiCaprio, 46, shared an Instagram video asking fans to add their name to the open letter calling for an end to the drilling in the area.

“Re:wild stands with the people of the0 Okavango River Basin, who depend on the health of the watershed for their survival,” the caption said. “ReconAfrica is poised to pollute their farms and destroy a beautiful landscape—one that benefits all life on Earth—forever. Join us by signing the open letter at the link in bio. Together, we can #SaveTheOkavango. For all wildkind.”

BREAKING: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are getting into the investment business. They are joining Ethic, a fintech asset manager in the fast-growing environmental, social and governance space, as “impact partners” and investors. Ethic has $1.3 billion under management .

Harry and Meghan want to make sustainable investing mainstream
Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, are getting into the investment business. They are joining Ethic, a fintech asset manager in the fast-growing environmental, social and governance space, as “impact partners” and investors. Ethic has $1.3 billion under management and creates separately managed accounts to invest in social responsibility themes.

The couple could attract more attention to sustainable investing. Harry and Meghan can make E.S.G. investing part of pop culture in a way that, say, BlackRock’s Larry Fink can’t. “From the world I come from, you don’t talk about investing, right?” Meghan told DealBook in a joint interview with Harry. “You don’t have the luxury to invest. That sounds so fancy.”

“My husband has been saying for years, ‘Gosh, don’t you wish there was a place where if your values were aligned like this, you could put your money to that same sort of thing?’” Meghan said. They were introduced to Ethic by friends, she said.

Harry and Meghan said they hoped that their involvement would help democratize investing, making people — especially younger people — more deliberate in their choices and conscious of investing in sustainable companies. “You already have the younger generation voting with their dollars and their pounds, you know, all over the world when it comes to brands they select and choose from,” Harry said, suggesting it was a natural extension to do the same with investment.

Ethic was founded in 2015 and has tripled assets under management in the past year, Doug Scott, a founder of the company, told DealBook. Ethic runs screens on companies and sectors based on social responsibility criteria, including racial justice, climate and labor issues. Its user interface has more in common with the likes of Robinhood than traditional financial sites, and it has developed a new platform, “Sustainability for Everyone,” which scores a person’s portfolio along different dimensions.

The move is the couple’s latest corporate partnership since relocating to the U.S. Harry and Meghan moved to Los Angeles last year and later gave up official royal family duties. Seeking financial independence, they have signed production deals with Netflix and Spotify. Harry also recently produced a documentary series about mental health for Apple TV+ in connection with Oprah Winfrey and is writing a memoir.


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