The Sussex Roundup- March 2022

The Sussex Roundup- March 2022


Investing in Gender Equity

To mark women’s history month in March, Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Archewell Foundation made new grants to 4 organizations that are “working to advance gender equity, build policies that empower women and families, ensure meaningful media representation for women, and provide women with a network of tools and support for gaining employment”. As is customary with anything the the Sussexes do, these grants took a very comprehensive approach to women’s empowerment.

For The Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality’s Gender and Opportunity Initiative, Archewell is committing resources to support the development of research-informed policies and practices that ensure that marginalized girls can stay in school and thrive. One of such practices/policies, among many, is trauma-informed discipline,including increased access to mental health services. It recognizes that most of the disciplinary issues are rooted in trauma, which if is unidentified and addressed as such, results in girls, particularly black girls facing punitive exclusion from school and even ending up in the juvenile justice system where, in some cases, their experiences compound the underlying trauma.

If you take into account the fact that empirically, girls experience more Adverse Childhood Events (ACE) e.g. sexual assault, compared to boys and that, black girls and girls of color receive disproportionately severe punishment, due to what initiative calls the adultification bias, then it is critical that at-risk girls are adequately supported in a manner that helps them thrive.The initiative on Gender and Opportunity focuses on race, gender and economic inequalities and conducts research through an intersectional lens,to advance these innovative policy and practical solutions.

The second grantee, National Women’s Law Center, brings together Lawyers, advocates and experts to fight for gender justice, by using “the law in all its forms to change culture and drive solutions toward gender equity.” The NWLC just published a report on the economic impact of the pandemic on women, which shows that more women currently remain out of work, who were employed before the pandemic. Thus “Archewell and NWLC will be working together to examine the systems that brought us to this breaking point, and explore data and trends that will bring about solutions to more sustainably further economic justice for women.”

On the subject of women’s employment, SmartWorks Charity in UK, of which Duchess Meghan is a patron, received a grant to support a study that will result in the development of The SmartWorks Female Unemployment Index, a benchmark against which to track progress. We noted in our 2019 piece on the Launch of the Smart Set Capsule Collection, what a considered approach was taken- an approach that Meghan seems to favor.This Index sounds like an evaluation tool, one that will give SmartWorks an indication of what they’re doing well and what needs improvement. To me, nothing says growth and sustainability mindedness like evaluation.

Earlier we touched on how two of the grantees work to develop policy that will improve girls and women’s lives and advance gender equity. Policy development/ policy change always involves a component of advocacy, which relies on good information- information that illuminates critical but less publicized issues, particularly those affecting BIPOC & LGBTQ+ communities. Sometimes achieving policy change requires communities’ participation in their democratic process, and accurate information is critical to that. Whose story gets told and how it’s told depends on who is telling the story- The media.

More often than not, the lack of diversity in newsrooms skews the reportage in a manner that disadvantages marginalized communities.The 19th*, a woman founded non-profit newsroom aims “to empower those we serve — particularly women, women of color and the LGBTQ+ community — with the information, resources and community they need to be equal participants in our democracy.” They employ a newsroom that is gender, socioeconomically, racially and ideologically diverse to produce evidence-based and original reporting that is free to consume and re-publish. Archewell’s grant “has allowed the 19th to expand its coverage of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities and advance generous leave and care-giving policies inside the organization.” Not only is Archewell helping to tell the stories that matter, they’re helping to support the storytellers with generous leave policies.

Digital Civil Rights

On February 26th 2022 at the NAACP Image Awards, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex received the President’s Award in recognition of achievement and public service.Some wondered what Harry and Meghan have done to deserve a community service Award from the NAACP. What have they done for people of color? Perhaps because they haven’t seen Meghan and Harry marching across the Edmond Pettus Bridge, it is assumed that they haven’t done anything in service of people of color. I’m by no means minimizing the importance of protests or civil rights marches, I’m merely suggesting that it is not the only way to effect change. Since 2020, when they moved to the US, the Sussexes have been engaged behind the scenes with organizations advancing the interests of people of color.

Notably with Rashad Robinson, President of Color of Change,a civil rights organization for online advocacy that has been looking into online hate speech and targeted harassment, including the practice of doxxing,that was being used to intimidate black lives matter activists in the online space. In this day, the ability to organize online is hugely beneficial to the mobilization of people to whatever end is being pursued. The Sussexes lent their support to Color of Change’s campaign #StopHateForProfit(a joint effort with the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League) in their quest to hold online platforms, like Facebook accountable for enabling abuse by their reluctance to effectively moderate their platform. They were instrumental in mobilizing a coalition of corporate leaders to support #StopHateForProfit by withdrawing advertising dollars from Facebook to pressure it into improving the online experience on their platform.

Themselves a heavy target for online harassment, the Sussexes have leaned into their experience as impetus to improve the online experience for others, especially since online hate and harassment factors significantly into the recipient’s Mental health, another passion of theirs. They haven’t always been loud, but as Prince Harry said in their farewell note upon leaving the UK, “you may not see us, but the work still goes on”.

Furthering their desire to drive change in the online/technology space, the Sussexes teamed up with the NAACP to launch the NAACP-Archewell Digital Civil Rights Award ($100,000 annually) which “acknowledges and supports a new generation of leaders that are creating transformational change at the intersection of social justice and technology — working to advance civil and human rights”. This is an additional reason the Sussexes’ critics completely missed the boat. Digital human rights is the new frontier for civil rights.

Algorithmic bias is the new Jim Crow- The New Jim Code, as described by Dr. Ruha Benjamin( links below). The promise of automation was that it will remove the human factor of bias and be more equitable, but in most cases tech has perpetuated racial bias, masked its presence and even made it easy for discrimination to be denied. Society is increasingly dependent on artificial Intelligence(AI) and machine learning- a field of AI using mathematical algorithms to teach machines to analyze vast amounts of data. The problem however is that, bias is written into the code and often the data used to train the algorithms are not representative of the full complement of human variation and experiences.

The result for example in facial recognition technology is algorithms that fail to detect and correctly identify women and people of color. The effect ranges from a nuisance waste of time issue, like the case of a black man in the UK whose passport application was rejected because the facial recognition program perceived his thicker lips as an open mouth or infra-red sensors on automatic faucets in public restrooms not responding well to users of darker skin complexion, to the life changing. False identification, arrest and incarceration of innocent black people has been documented, even though published research shows that there is no consensus within the scientific community of the accuracy of facial recognition and its application in policing.There are even applications of facial recognition in hiring processes where they seek to detect affect as a measure of engagement. What could possibly go wrong?

The use of AI in housing, lending, employment and education has not only resulted in loss of opportunity for people color, but has caused economic loss to same when it costs people of color more for similar loans/insurance policies for for similar risk categories as Caucasians.

Add to all this, algorithmic bias in image searches or searches for black girls/women that link them to hypersexualized images and terms that perpetuate stereotypical narratives. Reflecting back to the issue of adultification bias, hypersexualization of young black girls is one of the reasons that they are not deemed innocent. Dr. Safiyaa Noble, the inaugural recipient of the NAACP-Archewell Award addresses this thoroughly in her book, Algorithms of Oppression.

There’s a list of resources included in the reading nook below, if you would like to explore more on this topic. I highly recommend a talk by Dr. Joy Buolamwini, founder of Algorithmic Justice League who does a splendid job of explaining the harms.


“I’m Meghan, and this is Archetypes”

On march 24th, a teaser for Archewell Audio’s first podcast from Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, was released on Spotify. “In this groundbreaking new podcast, ARCHETYPES, Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, investigates the labels that try to hold women back. Meghan will speak with historians and experts to uncover the origin of these stereotypes and have uncensored conversations with women who know all too well how these typecasts shape our narratives.” It will be launching in the summer, per the announcement so anytime from June is fair game. We’re so excited! You can listen to the teaser here and follow Archewell Audio on Spotify if you haven’t already done so.

“Grow through what you go through”

In the not so distant future is the 5th Invictus Games, which after a two year postponement on account of the pandemic, is taking place in a few days from April 16-22, 2022 at the Hague. The games will see 500 competitors from 20 nations compete in one or more of 10 events. Over 70,00 guests are expected and more than 300 journalists have been credentialed for the event. Prince Harry got into the Invictus Spirit by practicing his Dutch with some IG Dutch athletes in a typically relaxed lighthearted and fun exchange.

The impact that the Invictus Games has had on the recovery, rehabilitation and mental health of the injured servicemen is simply astounding. The IG22 Hague website is replete with stories of competitors’ hope, determination and personal triumph. The postponement in 2020 and the ensuing uncertainty of when it will be able to take place would have be an unwelcome stressor. The magic of the games, in my opinion, is in the focus, training and execution, where the servicemen show themselves, their families and the world what they are capable of. Losing that imminent opportunity 2 years ago would have undoubtedly been difficult for some, but here we are. The competitors kept their focus, pushed through their personal challenges and are now poised to represent their countries at the Hague.

On March 18 the IG22 Medals, designed by Pannos Goutzemisis at the Royal Dutch Mint, were revealed. The medals on one side are decorated with the words I AM, one of the lines of the The William Ernest Henley poem ‘INVICTUS”, and a yellow tulip, “a symbol for the Netherlands, but also for the growth of the participants and their family and friends”. The opposite side is embossed with the motto of the Invictus Games; Grow through what you go through. The designer said he was inspired by the competitors, “ordinary people who perform extraordinary feats”.

… I thank whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul.

… My head is bloody, but unbowed.

… And yet the menace of the years Find and shall find me unafraid.

… I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.

As the start of the games dawns, the competitors having come through a long 4 year journey from 2018 -the last two in uncharted territory- I can’t help but note the poignancy of the parallels with Prince Harry’s own life. In the words of the poem, in the new challenges of the last two years, in their sheer determination to not succumb, in their courage and grit. The master of my fate… The captain of my soul.

I salute the brave men and women of the Invictus games community, InvictusHague2022 host team, The wider Invictus organization and of course, Prince Harry.



For international women’s day 2022, The National compiled a list of 11 US women making history in 2022, and what do you know? Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex was included in this list for her advocacy. WORTH featured her on their Groundbreaking 50 Honoree list. read more about it: Groundbreaking Women.

She was also featured in a video for CARE’s #HerVoice campaign “to celebrate the generations of women who have inspired us, taught us, & moved us to change the world”. The Duchess is in good company, and as she has never shied away from using her voice when it counts, her voice is relevant.

When the now Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was nominated to the US Supreme Court, Anita Brown,- herself a lawyer, who testified before the Senate Judiciary committee in 1991 when Clarence Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court about sexual harassment that she had suffered at his hands while she worked with him in her early 20s- wrote a powerful opinion piece on what the nomination meant to her. She reached out to Meghan for comment because “while her role over the past few years hasn’t been that of a federal judge or elected official, I couldn’t help but see a measure of parallelism given her experience navigating uncharted territory as a Black woman.”

Duchess Meghan shared this, as quoted by Anita Hill: “The civil rights history of tomorrow is being written today,” she said to me. “Judge Jackson’s nomination has opened new ground for women’s representation at the highest level of a judicial system that for too long has tilted against the very community she hails from. For the millions of young women who will rightfully find inspiration from this moment, let’s remind ourselves that Black achievement is something that exists not just today or yesterday, and not just in moments of celebration, but as a fabric woven into the entire chronicle of the American story.” A little tidbit: Ms. Hill’s Opinion piece was exclusively distributed by URL Media, “a multi-platform network of performing Black and Brown media organizations” who are partly funded by Archewell. We love the Sussexes’ commitment to supporting diverse media platforms.

On a less substantive note, Fashion Museum selected the Giorgio Armani dress that Duchess Meghan wore for the sit down interview with Oprah, as the dress of the Year 2021. Consequently a version of the dress which featured lotus flower embroidery will go on display in the Fashion Museum in Bath. The selection was made by 2020 dress of the year designers Ibrahim Kamara and Gareth Wrighton.

The pair remarked, “In today’s hyper-stylised pop culture, the Dress of the Year now has the potential to also be ‘meme of the year’ and we both latched upon Meghan and Harry’s now iconic interview with Oprah as the definitive anti-establishment moment that will forever endure in the British collective consciousness. Meghan’s wrap dress by Armani, worn to showcase a divine pregnancy, framed the Duchess in black against the bountiful landscaping of Tyler Perry’s Hollywood garden. This look now, through sheer association with a viral television moment, is firmly ingrained in our pop culture psyche.” Were not sure if it was Tyler Perry’s garden, but the sentiment stands.

It became known over a year ago that Actor Simon Rex, who had a brief working relationship with Meghan, had been offered a $70,000 bribe by a British tabloid to lie that he had a sexual relationship with Meghan. Thankfully, he declined at the time and recently shared that Meghan had written him a thank you note when she became aware of it. We would expect nothing less from the ever gracious Meghan.


Prince Harry is taking in American culture. He, accompanied by his cousin Princess Eugenie attended the Superbowl on Sunday February 13th, where he was sat in a box sponsored by Salesforce, one of the main backers of BetterUp, where Prince Harry is Chief Impact Officer. Singer Mickey Guyton, who rendered the national anthem at the event, spoke fondly of her(and her parents’) meeting with Prince Harry post-game, in the LA Rams’ locker room, where he was also pictured holding the Lombardy trophy.

On March 5th, Prince Harry was at the Cowtown Colosseum rodeo in Forth worth stockyards as reported by Forth Worth Culture Map where he was given a tour. The Airline pilot, whose flight Prince Harry flew on to Texas tweeted out the cute anecdote. Following his visit to the Forth Worth rodeo, The Houston Livestock Rodeo issued an invitation to Prince Harry and his family to come visit saying, ” we’ll have a juicy turkey leg and southern sweet tea ready for your enjoyment”. LOL Read more here.

Prince Harry had the opportunity to speak via video call to Film-making couple Elizabeth & Gulistan Mirzaei(of Mirzaei films Afghanistan) Academy-nominated Directors and Producers of the Netflix documentary, Three Songs for Benazir. Its a short film set in a camp for displaced people in Kabul, that has received rave reviews. Here’s a write up by Deadline Hollywood.


In this section we bring to you some Sussex-related (directly or tangentially) good reads that we think are worth sharing, as well as resources that we have found helpful in understanding topical issues that enter our orbit as a result of the work that the Sussexes are doing.

A Blogpost by the US Copyright Office
Three Ways Meghan Markle Shows Us That Copyright registration is for Everyone.

Meghan is not your average fairly tale princess. A light easy read: Princess of Character and Idealism.

On how we [should] deal with online trolls, comes this great piece from the Atlantic.
Trolls Aren’t Like the Rest of Us

A great walk-through on Duchess Meghan’s Copyright suit and victory against the Mail on Sunday
The Truth About Meghan

Technology and Civil Rights:

Prof. Ruha Benjamin- Race after Technology. The New Jim Code
She also has a book by the same title.

Dr. Joy Buoliamwini at Stanford HAI 2019 fall conference. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Other Sections of Stanford conference that address use of AI/facial recognition in community surveillance etc
DW feature on facial recognition and racial discrimination

Joy from Algorithmic justice league: Were training computers to be racist.

Race, Technology and Algorithmic Bias. Harvard University- Featuring Dr. Latanya Sweeney and Dr. Joy Buolamwini

Prince Harry & Rashad Robinson Chat on #StopHateForProfit


It is fair to say that there’s been quite a lot of unrest in the Palace-British Media-Online Troll axis, on account of the productive activities of a certain ginger prince and his princess. They have been so perturbed by the so-called “delay in launching a podcast for which they received so much money”. An agreement whose details they haven’t the slightest idea of, by the way, only to be even more troubled by the launch of said podcast. So troubled that they purposely took leave of their senses and literacy and swore that, the podcast name Archetypes(as it relates to podcasts) cannot be trademarked by the Duchess Meghan and Archewell Audio because, how dare they remove the best and most ancient word from the English lexicon? Yet at the same time, said podcast couldn’t possibly be original because there are already other media by that title, and thus this is plagiarism. Good grief! Never mind the differing subject matters/themes/reference points. If the latter assertion is true, does it then mean that Archewell Audio’s trademark application will bar the prior existing “plagiarized” works from from using the word? Insanity.

Then you have the obsession with where the Sussexes are/should be/thought to be traveling, what event they supposedly must attend to show respect to X, Y, or Z and in the same breath cannot show up because they will command all the attention. Oh the elusive spotlight! The are nonsense stories aplenty. Every day has broken with a different contrived controversy- red meat sliced up and served up by so-called journalists and “experts” upon which their desperate, deluded and willfully ignorant audience feed. Its a minefield of stupidity, which would make it easy to dismiss its true nefarious intent.

It is especially true when you consider the disturbingly public debate on security arrangements/ provisions for the Sussexes. From two years ago when royal reporters were pursuing the Canadian Government to the then US president to comment on their security and who will be paying for it, to them now needling Dutch officials for information on security arrangements at the Invictus games. It is quite sinister, and the very public media splash about its is a deliberate choice by the media and their puppeteers. So was the decision in January to publicize Prince Harry’s application for a judicial review on the home Office’s decision to deny him armed security in the UK and the right to fund it himself. Particularly so, since the application was filed last year.What really is the end goal here?

There is no plausible reason for the Palace-British Media-Online Troll axis to so frenzied, but to remove or attempt to attenuate the Sussexes’ undeniably and increasingly successful post-working royal life.

Take for instance, supporters of the Sussexes. Through Harry and Meghan’s work, many have been exposed to enriching and enlightening content, events, resources and organizations and have been inspired by their philanthropic viewpoint to get involved, give back, support communities near and far. That is the influential power of the Sussexes- That which garners global attention whenever they step out or speak up. Even if it is to protest or sow discord, it’s precisely because their fiercest opponents recognize that influential power. If they thought the Sussexes actions amounted to nothing, they wouldn’t bat an eye. In fact, the restlessness increasingly malicious nature of their pursuit of any person or organization that is associated with the Sussexes is proof Harry and Meghan’s success and power.

Consider the British media aka Palace PR and propaganda arm and a majority of the self-described/ self-identified Cambridge supporters affectionately known as “derangers”. If there was any influence to be exerted by their keen possible future monarch and partner whom they worship, on whose behalf(sanctioned or not) and in whose interest they operate, what would the that influence inspire? What constructive cues could they possibly they taken from the actions of the possible futures? None in my opinion, but you may point me in their direction. The hallmark of the possible futures are sabotage and clandestine maneuvers. The possible futures have spent their time, energy and resources not to build anything of note, but rather to tear down other peoples exploits.

It’s thus not surprising to see the members of the British media sell their integrity to advance the interests of a non-performing asset. They know better, they’re not that stupid or ignorant, but they’re willing to play fools for the sake of their gods. So, Jeremy Vine and his sidekick can pretend that they don’t really know how trademarks work, even after they’ve been enlightened by their guests,- unwilling to participate in the ludicrous debate. The verminous Angela Levin and lovelorn/scorned Richard Eden can pretend that, there is something untoward about an Invictus Games documentary, whose purpose and benefit to the IGF(publicity and funding) has been known for a year.

Similarly, the British media will obfuscate and conflate contexts to minimize the security threat to Prince Harry and his nuclear family.They will say that Harry could have attended his grandfather’s memorial because there was a lot of security at the event, purposely and dangerously glossing over the fact that the threats are in the intervening moments, when Harry is not at a televised event with a couple thousand people, or that their daily lies and mischaracterizations of the Sussexes’ every move, and false attributions of malice towards the royal family, is directly endangering the Sussexes in the UK. Add to this, the profit imperative, that justifies this course of action for the British media and trolls alike.

Just recapping the last quarter of activities demonstrates how Harry and Meghan are taking bold and well-informed action to build compassionate communities. The Sussexes have evolved their methods to meet the emerging complexities of the socioeconomic issues that the care about.They are informing and educating themselves, identifying transformative areas of change, leveraging their relationships and true to the Archewell name, are digging deep to create and or support innovative action, to drive lasting change. Their commercial and charitable associations are thriving and forming partnerships for even more growth. Invictus Games is adding big sponsors like Boeing, precisely because the quality and impact of the organization speaks for itself. There’s an Ashanti proved that literally translates as follows: “If you climb a good tree, then you deserve/will get the needed push”. Nobody invests in a worthless enterprise.

At every step, their critics have been loud and wrong but never have we seen the Sussexes turn to the same empty barrel rent-an-opinion British media types( conduits for RF) or twitter trolls masquerading as snake-oil PR experts to regulate their activities or seek approval. In fact, they’ve gone out of their way to make clear that they do not entertain any communications with British tabloids. Zero engagement.

Why then do some of us entertain and engage these bad faith actors who frankly lack the range, depth or exposure to comprehend the the nuances of a lot of the terrain the Sussexes are trekking? Show me one who has built something worthwhile and successful and then we can talk.

We know that they come not to support or to uplift, or even to understand but to destroy. In the process, They monetize our undeserved attention for their personal gain. Imagine that someone approached you with a proposition: I want to destroy this good thing you’re doing or supporting(for whatever reason) and I also want you to pay me to destroy it. Say what now?

We inadvertently do this when we spend our precious time and energy entertaining and thus amplifying the opinions of people who we do not expect to operate objectively, logically or even honestly. I’ll end with another Ghanaian proverb; “If you’re bathing in the river, and a mad man runs off with your clothes, you do not go chasing after them naked”. Our attention makes it worth their while, so please, let them scream into the abyss to their heart’s content.

Now on to bigger and better things!


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8 comments on “The Sussex Roundup- March 2022

  1. Dalia

    March madness more like March amazing! Love the follow up to so much! Thank you always the best place to get accurate updates!

  2. Sussex Timeline

    Lovely article. I throughly enjoyed it. I’m commenting hear because I don’t see a contact page or email address. I’d like to get in contact with your group. You can send me a private message on Twitter @SussexTimeline. Have a wonderful day. Thank you.

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