Monday, 22 March 2021

Archewell Updates & Harry Pens Moving Tribute

Hello, I hope your week is off to a good start. Tonight we're beginning with Archewell announcements. The Sussexes' fledgling foundation has been making donations across a number of worthy areas and choosing key partnerships with excellent organisations sharing their vision.

Archewell is partnering with social impact and culture-change organisation Invisible Hand, who also work closely with the Obama Foundation and Girls leadership to "harnesses the power of creativity and storytelling to propel the world forward". It is led by Genevieve Roth, a Shorenstein Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, who previously served as the creative engagement director for the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.

Genevieve penned a powerful piece for Good Housekeeping, entitled, 'I Thought I Understood White Privilege. Then I Married a Black Man'.

'For the first 37 years of my life, I considered myself largely exempt from the blind spots of white privilege. Intellectually, I knew the definition of the phrase: White privilege is the inherent advantages that come with being white. But I assumed I knew better than to let those advantages hinder my progressive way of life. I had worked in New York City media for years, leaving a big job in magazines to become director of creative engagement for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. I helped to organize the Women’s March. I started my social impact agency Invisible Hand to assist companies like Instagram and organizations like Planned Parenthood as they put good work into the world. I was your favorite progressive's favorite progressive.

Then, I met Jordan. He was so handsome, I thought I might die. He was sharp and charismatic and when he smiled it looked like he was lit from within. I cringe to say that I loved him immediately, but here's the thing: I pretty much did. We did not take it slow. In fact, we shoehorned a decade’s worth of life into our first 24 months together. We moved in together, started companies, got pregnant, miscarried, renovated an apartment and got pregnant again, only to spend the last trimester of the pregnancy living apart while I pursued a fellowship in a different city. In the beginning, when we fought — which we did, kind of a lot — I chalked it up to the stress of cramming all of that life into such a short span of time.

Of course I knew that Jordan and I would have cultural differences. On our first date, he asked me if he was the first Black man I’d dated (he was not), and told me that his relationships had spanned the map, too. We discussed how we thought our families would react, and the role our upbringings had played in our identities. I kind of thought we had it covered. We did not. Almost immediately, I began to understand my white privilege and unconscious bias in new, upsetting ways.'

Chief-of-staff Catherine St-Laurent is transitioning to a senior advisory role. The Telegraph reports, "Ms St-Laurent will also be launching her own social impact firm, which will work closely with Archewell." On her Facebook page, Catherine said it's "been a privilege working closely" with Harry and Meghan to help establish Archewell. "I am deeply proud of what we've accomplished together and I'm honored to remain on as an advisor".

James Holt who has worked with the couple for several years has been appointed Executive Director, a promotion from his role as Head of Engagement and Communications for the Sussexes in the UK. Previously, James held the position of Head of Communications for the Royal Foundation. Below, James arriving for Harry and Meghan's wedding.

Embed from Getty Images

The couple are working with Netflix and Spotify through Archewell Productions and Archewell Audio. Those efforts will be helmed by the immensely talented Ben Browning, who has signed on as Head of Content. The award-winning producer has made quite a splash in the industry over the past year with Academy Award and BAFTA nominations for his work on Promising Young Woman. Browning's producing credits include Mark Ruffalo's heartbreaking I Know This Much is True, the Benedict Cumberbatch thriller, The Courier, and the moving Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci drama, The Children Act. Coincidentally, I've seen a couple of the aforementioned titles and the common thread through them is great storytelling. Ben will be a dynamic asset to Archewell; I'm really looking forward to seeing his work. Below footage of an interview at the 2019 Sundance Festival.

In a statement confirming his new role, Ben Browning credited the Sussexes' "unparalleled global reach":

'The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have founded a next-generation production company with best-in-class distribution partners in Netflix and Spotify, a clear agenda to inform and entertain, and an unparalleled global reach. From the moment they shared their vision for Archewell as a global production company that will spotlight diverse voices and share uplifting stories, I knew I wanted to help with this unique opportunity. It's a thrilling company to be starting.'

Forbes reports:

'A mutual contact in the entertainment industry suggested Browning as a potential candidate. Over the course of multiple meetings, Prince Harry and Meghan discussed their ambition to build a new type of entertainment company that would speak to a young, worldwide audience.

In the end, Browning seemed to be the right fit, as an executive with hands-on experience as a film and television producer and who also has run organizations and built startup companies. At FilmNation, he talked about making culturally relevant films without benefit of a big studio’s trove of intellectual property — like The Big Sick, a romantic comedy based on the relationship of comedian Kumail Nanjiani and writer Emily Gordon, who found themselves navigating cultural differences when she is diagnosed with cancer. '

Archewell's global press secretary, Toya Holness, said, "Archewell is incredibly pleased to welcome Ben, Genevieve, and the Invisible Hand team to the organization. Along with the appointment of James Holt as executive director of Archewell Foundation, they join a rapidly expanding team that's deeply dedicated to advancing systemic cultural change and supporting compassionate communities across the world." Toya joined the team in October with an impressive CV, including a role as Director of Communications for NYC's Department of Education.

***********

As you may have seen, Prince Harry penned a beautiful and moving foreword for a special book created to support children who have lost loved ones during the pandemic. Hospital by the Hill tells the heartbreaking story of a young person coming to terms with losing their mother who worked on the front line. The book promotes the vital work of UK charities Child Bereavement UK and Winston's Wish.

Reflecting on losing his mother and offering warm words of support, Harry wrote, "If you are reading this book, it’s because you’ve lost your parent or a loved one, and while I wish I was able to hug you right now, I hope this story is able to provide you comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. When I was a young boy I lost my mum. At the time I didn’t want to believe it or accept it, and it left a huge hole inside of me. I know how you feel, and I want to assure you that over time that hole will be filled with so much love and support."

Embed from Getty Images

Harry continued, "We all cope with loss in a different way, but when a parent goes to heaven, I was told their spirit, their love... Now, I never met them, but I know this person was special to you, and they were someone incredibly kind, caring and loving because of where they chose to work. Helping others is one of the most important jobs anyone can ever do. You may feel alone, you may feel sad, you may feel angry, you may feel bad. This feeling will pass. And I will make a promise to you – you will feel better and stronger once you are ready to talk about how it makes you feel. I hope this book helps remind you of just how special your parent or loved one was - and how special you are too."

Embed from Getty Images

Author Chris Connuaghton said:

"I wanted it to provide a connection, support and hope through the hard and horrible times of bereavement. It’s also a tremendous honour - and a service to young people - to have The Duke of Sussex support this project and share his open, heartfelt and honest words with kids across the country."

The book is free for bereaved children, however it is also available to buy on the Hospital by the Hill website. Profits go towards producing more free copies for children who need it most.

*************

I heard a snippet of a recent interview with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan in which he discussed the Sussexes and the Royal family. I thought this particular quote was a nice one to close the post with and a reminder of the impact of Meghan's work in the UK. "I’ve been to Grenfell many, many times but I particularly remember going to Grenfell community in the days after Meghan had been there and I’ve got to tell you she touched people’s lives in ways nobody had."

17 comments:

  1. All of the changes related to Archewell are fascinating -- the Sussexes are really moving along. H&M are obviously kindred spirits in their passions and goals or this would not be possible. Harry and William had so little time with their mother, and they lost time while they were in school and she traveled. I hope unveiling her statue gives them some extra peace. I'm sure Harry's experience makes him keenly aware of how a little boy can suffer and determined that his son will never know the pain of a divorce and an unhappy mother. I loved hearing Harry speak of Archie's "little baby seat" for the bike. I am so looking forward to seeing him with two children.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much, Charlotte for continuing to share the very exciting foundation Meghan and Harry are laying for their new kind of media programming. It compliments them that they are able to attract such impressive talent.

    I appreciate London's mayor speaking up for Meghan in this time of so much negativity directed her way.

    Harry's message in "Hospital by the Hill" is so touching and timely. I love his tender soul and his honesty.

    I hope that Harry and Meghan will now just move forward with their work, letting it speak for who they are and what they are about. It will never be possible to silence the chatterers, they are best ignored.

    R

    ReplyDelete
  3. Re. the Grenfell anecdote, the ethnic minority community in the UK lost so much with Meghan leaving. I personally think that's part of the reason she was pushed out. We will forever feel the loss of this marvellous woman.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always thought that Meghan received just as much and probably more from the women of Grenfell as she gave. It seems like these were just about the only friends with whom her contact was not suspect. She will never forget them and how they rose to thrive after their horrendous tragedy.

      Delete
  4. Thank you, Grenada, for this info. It makes me sad, but I suspect it's true.

    R

    ReplyDelete
  5. Harry's message is compassionate and really touches the heart. He is truly a fine, fine person.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Now, that is the kind of news regarding the Sussexes that I want to see. Going forward, distancing themselvs from the past by action and conduct. This should be the topics we link them to. Who cares how many staff they loose or hire? (And I am also not too interested in the Diana topics- but I am older and already had my fair share of the hype). But the projects and charities they support- that is interesting and valuable to me. I am excited to see them continuing on this path.
    C.

    ReplyDelete
  7. How happy I am to have news of the couple's plans; I find it very beautiful and very promising. I wish them every success. I am confident that they will do a great job and mark the world as such are their aspirations. Harry and Meghan are so charismatic and dynamic: it's very encouraging, well done.
    Thank you Charlotte, we remain on the lookout for the progress of the Sussex dynamism.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I remember being stunned when Meghan released the Together cookbook and unveiled her project with the Hubb women. It was so professionally done and a brilliant idea. One of the best projects to have ever come out of the British royal family that actually had a practical and tangible impact on people’s lives. I’m excited to see Archewell’s legacy as theyre building quite a formidable team but it’s still sad to think what could have been. She was such an asset to the UK and accomplished so much in such a short period of time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually the Prince of Wales has achieved a great deal over the years with really practical projects through his Prince's Trust. Look them up on the Internet and you may be surprised what positive work has been done. We must try to be fair in our assessments of their charitable efforts.

      Delete
  9. Thank you Charlotte for coming back after I'm sure much reflection. I have missed your thoughtful, truthful words always for me creating much food for thought. With that said, you go Harry on your new job!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. USA Granny, is it not exciting that Harry has a job? Sounds perfect for him. I am so proud for him. :)

      Delete
  10. I love that commenting is possible again. thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you charlotte for wonderful insight about the Duke and duchess sussex I realized the Duke letter was sad at the same heartfelt everybody who lost their mother it's should be terrible for them since they little time to said horrible oh congratulations harry new job

    ReplyDelete
  12. I don't mean this as a jab to anyone but actually as a genuine suggestion: the other members of the royal family as well as courtiers should really read Genevieve Roth's article and maybe take a look at her feed too, her Instagram for example. It might help them understand a little the situation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

    ReplyDelete

Welcome to Mad About Meghan! We do so look forward to reading your thoughts. Constructive, fair debate is always encouraged. Hateful, derogatory terms and insults are not welcome here. This space focuses on Harry and Meghan, not any other member of the Royal family. It's not the place to discuss politics either. Thank you for reading, we look forward to your comments :)