Thursday, 25 March 2021

Meghan Bakes for WCK, Together Continues to Support UK Communities & Another New Role for Harry

Tonight's post largely focuses on the power of food to bring people together - one of the key themes of Meghan's work. As part of Archewell's acts of kindness this month, the Duchess of Sussex baked a lemon olive oil cake, using lemons from her garden, for volunteers working in Chicago with World Central Kitchen. The couple have partnered with WCK to build several relief centres.

World Central Kitchen said, "In honor of Women's History Month, WCK worked with Archewell, the non-profit created by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, to provide meals and share a message of appreciation & support in Chicago. Dessert was a lemon olive oil cake baked by The Duchess." On the organisation's response to the pandemic, they added, "Since WCK’s Covid response began in Chicago, we’ve served nearly 500,000 meals. Today, Dorri of the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago—which has distributed 60,000 meals with WCK—and Sarah, co-owner of Fat Shallot restaurant, shared a safely distanced lunch with women picking up meals. Women are on the frontlines of our work: making and serving meals, volunteering, and leading businesses and organizations that serve their communities each day."

Harry and Meghan sent a letter with the cake. More from ET Canada:

“Sometimes we overlook how much it matters to express thanks and show appreciation,” the letter read. “Perhaps we realize now more than ever that fundamental human moments, like enjoying a meal together, fill us up with more than just food (even if that food is delicious!).”

They added, “To that point, we hope you enjoy the offering we baked for you-our small token of thanks, from our home to yours.”

Of course, Chicago also holds a special place in Meghan’s heart as the duchess attended Northwestern University there where she joined Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. In 2003 she earned her bachelor’s degree with a double major in theatre and international studies.'

One of Archewell's suggestions is to donate $8 to $10 to provide a meal to support another woman. If you would like to do so please click here.

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Together: Our Community Cookbook is the gift that keeps on giving. Last night it was announced the Duchess of Sussex chose a Nottingham-based grassroots organisation tackling poverty, racism and social exclusion to benefit from a £10,000 donation following additional sales. Himmah director Sajid Mohammed told Harper's Bazaar, "For ages I thought the whole thing was a hoax. They kept emailing me and ringing me about the donation saying it was from the Duchess of Sussex and I just couldn't believe it—I was utterly gobsmacked and hugely humbled that Meghan knew about our charity and wanted to support us. It's an absolutely incredible sum and we're so very grateful."

The donation will go towards supplies for the food bank, from which the organisation provides over 600 food parcels every month. Like charities all over the globe, the demand on services due to the pandemic has created a great deal of additional need. You can learn more about their work in the video below.

Himmah came to life a decade ago after a chance encounter between director Sajid Mohammed and a homeless man. It has expanded deep into the heart of Nottingham. In addition to tackling food insecurity and poverty, they strive to tackle racism through service provision, campaign and educational work. They constantly aspire to create empowered, cohesive and educated communities.

More from Himmah:

'We campaign for racial equality and social and economic justice through partnership working on issues such as hate crime, jobs, wages and structural racism. We are a founding member of Nottingham Citizens and have remained a member institution for the past 8 years. Nottingham Citizens is an alliance of 47 institutions who come together to tackle issues faced by the local community. Through our membership.

With Nottingham Citizens we are able to build the civic, cultural and political power of BAME communities in Nottingham through offering free community organising training and participation in targeted campaigns which are born out of conversations held between community leaders and members. In this way we ensure that we are always fighting issues that are being faced by members of the BAME community and that members themselves are at the heart of the campaigns Himmah is involved in.

We strongly believe that increased engagement of BAME communities in the democratic process is one way of working towards equality. We have worked to increase democratic participation from BAME communities by promoting voter registration, canvassing in BAME communities and developing targeted campaign messages to BAME communities. We also co-delivered the Bernie Grant leadership programme which identified and developed BAME activists for future elected roles or positions.'

A portion of the funds will be directed  towards the Salaam Shalom Kitchen - a joint Muslim/Jewish kitchen founded on the belief that "working together across communities and perceived boundaries helps build community cohesion and break down barriers". Every Wednesday, they provide hot meals to people in the Hyson Green area of Nottingham.

A recent post on their Facebook page revealed a typical Wednesday for the group. "Another 150 delicious ( and colourful!) meals prepared at Nottingham Liberal Synagogue and handed out at the Bridge Centre in Hyson Green to rough sleepers, families, individuals...anyone who needs a hot meal, no judgement, no questions. Friendly faces and yummy food." In addition to meals, warm clothing was available for those in need.

Nottingham holds a special place in Harry and Meghan's hearts -- five days after they announced their engagement they made their first official appearance there.

Harry spent quite a bit of time in Nottingham and, in 2013, established the Full Effect programme in the city supported by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. The programme supports children and young people in an effort to prevent their involvement in youth violence and crime through a combination of early intervention, mentorship and training.

The announcement is the second of its kind. Last year, it was confirmed £8,000 of proceeds from Together: Our Community Cookbook had been donated to UK-based charity Migrateful on Meghan's behalf. The charity was delighted with the unexpected news, which included the following message: "This email comes with the Duchess' very best wishes to you and the incredible people you support." Migrateful runs cookery classes led by refugees, asylum seekers and migrants struggling to integrate and access employment.

And on that note, you can still purchase the cookbook from various online retailers including the Book Depository. It makes a terrific gift with the added bonus of knowing proceeds are helping communities across the UK.



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In our last post, we discussed Harry's new role as Chief Impact Officer for BetterUp. If interested in hearing more, here's an interview with the company's CEO Alexi Robichaux during a conversation on CNN.

Additionally, it was announced Prince Harry will spend the next six months as a commissioner working with the Aspen Institiute, alongside thirteen others, conducting a study on the state of American disinformation and misinformation. In a statement Harry said, "As I've said, the experience of today's digital world has us inundated with an avalanche of misinformation, affecting our ability as individuals as well as societies to think clearly and truly understand the world we live in." Harry added he believes this is a "humanitarian issue" demanding a "multi-stakeholder response from advocacy voices, members of the media, academic researchers, and both government and civil society leaders".

CNN reports:

'Journalist Katie Couric, Color of Change president Rashad Robinson and Chris Krebs, the former director of the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, are the co-chairs.

"This information crisis undermines confidence in our democratic institutions and strikes right at the foundation of society," Krebs said in a statement.

That's what Aspen, a leading nonprofit, wants to examine. The institute announced its Commission on Information Disorder in January with a mandate to develop "actionable public-private responses." The commission will begin to meet in April and will hold a series of briefings with outside experts.'

The Aspen institute shared the following information on other commissioners. Archewell works with both Color of Change and the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry:

'The three co-chairs will be joined by 15 commissioners from across the political spectrum, including national security leader Sue Gordon, the former principal deputy director of national intelligence; elected officials Aaron Ford, Nevada’s attorney general, and former Texas congressman Will Hurd; threat researchers and academics Yasmin Green of Jigsaw, Herb Lin of Stanford University, and Kate Starbird of the University of Washington; technology thinkers Safiya Umoja Noble of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry.

 Deb Roy of the MIT Center for Constructive Communication and Cortico, and Alex Stamos of the Stanford Internet Observatory; civil society and media leaders Jameel Jaffer of Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute, Garry Kasparov of Renew Democracy Initiative, and Amanda Zamora of The 19th; as well as philanthropic leaders Marla Blow, incoming president of the Skoll Foundation, Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, co-founder of Archewell, and Kathryn Murdoch, co-founder and president of Quadrivium.'

The Aspen Institute added, "Approximately 60 days after its inaugural meeting, the Commission will publish an interim report that surveys and frames the information disorder problem, and prioritizes the most critical and urgent issues that must be addressed. It will then participate in a series of working groups and structured conversations to determine: the most effective policy solutions and stakeholders to address those most damaging near-term disinformation threats; the lawful and ethical means by which the federal government can promote fact-based information to counter the most dangerous disinformation campaigns; how government, private industry, and civil society can work together in the short term to help protect underrepresented groups, and engage disaffected populations who have lost faith in evidence-based reality; and the longer-term, more foundational challenges that will require deeper societal engagement to address."

29 comments:

  1. I have to admit I am very confused about the Community Cookbook. Are the Muslim women who contributed most of the recipes the ones deciding where the proceeds go, or are they paid into a separate Trust which Meghan administers? I am certainly not questioning this donation which seems very appropriate at this time of enormous needs. Perhaps someone can explain it for me.

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    1. Anon 00:58, it says at the end of the cookbook, which I don't have in front of me, that either all or a portion of the proceeds go to the foundation. It did not say that all the proceeds went to the Hub women.

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    2. From what I understand, the proceeds go to the Royal Foundation (Cambridges). The Hubb kitchen was completely remodeled so they could operate 7 days a week and also used to help the woman earn food prep certification. Additional profits only go to projects H&M approve. That's my understanding. Please correct me if this is not correct.

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  2. I am so distracted by Alexi's shelves in that CNN interview! They're so empty... and boring. One kettle on a shelf? And ugly pictures? I love arranging shelves and really want to help! But in all seriousness, Harry and Meghan continue to impress. The amount of meaningful work is wonderful.

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    1. Just to add a little levity, the items in the bookcase appear to be placed by possibly a bachelor who has no experience, or possibly he has just moved into a
      new space and has still not unpacked all his memories and treasurers. But,I must admit as many have discussed since Zoom has become the number one form of communication in the past year I have become transfixed on the backgrounds of what we see into peoples homes. I am also amazed at the number of books that live in peoples bookcases rathe then passing them along to friends to enjoy. I won't begin to discuss the amount of dusting they require!!!

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    2. USA Granny -- people's zoom backgrounds are fascinating! Those who "had books" before the pandemic can be separated from those who decided to create an artistic display of the appropriate books, vases, photos, and symbolic objects. What I really get a kick out of are those authors who have a bookcase that shows nothing but multiple copies of their book -- at all angles including a full frontal. And some people have only paperbacks; some have only scholarly tomes. I spend most of my time perusing the backgrounds of zooms.

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    3. Allison, so happy to hear that I am not alone in my new found obsession. Yes, ever so interesting are the authors who display all their works like wallpaper. A full frontal will get my attention every time!!!

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  3. I think I'd like to stop by and get some yummy dinner from Salaam Shalom Kitchen and then fly to Chicago for lemony dessert!

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  4. Je suis heureuse de découvrir de la Positivité sur ce formidable couple. Merci pour ce travail.

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  5. It is so inspiring to see the Sussex's continue to move forward with their passion to be of service to others!!

    I have been thinking about how all of this "feels" for Meghan and Harry, how freeing it must be to be able to work with organizations and on causes without having to jump through hoops, wade through red-tape or pander up to his father for funding. I do wonder how "aware" they are of the global support for them and their work? Do they realize how many people they inspire to go out into their own communities and help others?

    I was also thinking the other day about how thrilling (and maybe a bit scary) this must be for Harry to, for the first time in his life, earn his own money and pay his own way completely. To not be beholden to his father, family or taxpayer for funds, to be able to choose how he spends his money without having to worry how it'll look, to be his own person must be such an incredible experience for him!!

    This is such an exciting time for the Sussex's with lots of blessings coming their way and it couldn't have happened to two more deserving people.

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    1. I agree...congratulations H& M
      God bless you.

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  6. I just love how the Sussexes work on the global even while maintaining a very personal/local touch on related issues. The homemade cake just literally says it all! The UK and its military are Harry's home and base for his original philanthropy.Not only will it always remain important to him, but it helps keep the door cracked for reconciliation with his family. Brilliant as well as heartfelt!

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  7. Thank you, Charlotte, for keeping us posted on the wonderful things, big and small, Meghan and Harry do in their dedication to serve and to make the world a better place. I am so happy to see every good thing they do and every post or job they are awarded.

    R

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  8. Charlotte, I found this article to be very interesting. Harry said his family was trapped, not that they were unhappy or wanted to get out. As a 100% Sussex supporter, this just adds to my feelings of compassion for Harry's family and feelings. If this is not appropriate for the blog, I understand but I thought you would find it interesting. https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2021/03/robert-hazell-british-constitution-expert-royals-trapped

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    1. Very interesting article! Here’s a blogpost that is an interview with the authors of the book about modern monarchies. It’s really interesting, and they talk about how there is a lack of freedom of who to marry, freedom of religion, etc, among the Royals, making it very much a gilded cage.
      https://ukconstitutionallaw.org/2020/10/01/robert-hazell-and-bob-morris-how-has-monarchy-survived-in-the-era-of-modern-democracy-part-one/

      -Victoria, Oregon

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    2. TrulyOliver, that was very interesting, and I learned a lot as a US citizen. The people in charge of ensuring the monarchy continues do have a continual PR function. As "unfair" as it may be, the only way H&M could have remained was to let all their actions be guided by "the palace." William is exceedingly lucky to have Kate -- she understands the situation well and has made concessions through the years. William may otherwise have met the fate of Harry: having women reluctant to give up their privacy and freedom. Harry and Meghan seem to be driven more than the average person to find ways to help people and that goal can definitely not work with a "be seen but not heard" philosophy. It would be lovely if the stories would stop coming out shining a negative light on H&M, but I don't think the happiness of H&M has any meaning to those who are in charge of presenting the monarchy in a perfect glowing image. Oddly, I don't blame the Queen -- this has been the system for ages. I don't blame Kate at all -- I blame Charles. I think the PR means more than Harry's happiness. Stories by Charles' "friend" come out, PR says Charles is closer to William now, etc. Charles should have been on zoom this past year getting to know his other grandchild. It's just crazy when you see the other grandchildren having jobs and having so much more freedom.

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  9. I wish we could get the recipe for the cake.

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    1. I've made the one on MarthaStewart.com before and it was luscious.

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  10. Well they are doing a great job doing what they love to serve and help others

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  11. Thankyou for the coverage of this. The gesture of sending a homemade cake is adorable. I'd never heard of a lemon olive oil cake until now, but it sounds very interesting to try and make. My favourite summer cake is an elderflower and lemon cake just like the one from their wedding, but I may have to try and make this one now instead.

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  12. Google it. It's out there. I made one last month.

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  13. Charlotte, I was so happy to read this article. Other readers may like it, too, although I'm not sure it fits here, or that you feel inclinded to publish it. At least I think you will enjoy reading it.

    R

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    1. Sorry. In my tiredness I misspelled "inclined" and forgot to include the link for the article titled: "Meghan and Harry experienced discriminatory gaslighting. Here's how you can tell.

      "The palace has said that their experiences could be characterized differently — but is now talking about hiring a diversity czar."

      https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/meghan-harry-experienced-discriminatory-gaslighting-here-s-how-you-can-ncna1262235

      Questioning the veracity of one's experience is a typical tactic of abusers.

      R

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  14. I so enjoy your Meghan blog. I would love to meet Meghan and Harry one day, and maybe I will since i live in the U S and they are now ordinary people, like me!

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  15. For me the newly released UK government’s report declaring there is no institutional racism tells me the power that be is in denial of structural racism. Institutional racism runs so deep, this report is proof. The study offers some suggestions of superficial changes and more studies, but there will be no real meaningful changes. The report sees family structure and social economic class as the main barriers. The study refused to acknowledge that social economic status very much encompassed race and ethnicity (and gender). https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/income-inequality-by-ethnic-group/


    This report was issued despite the following - from the BBC:

    “What work has already been done on racial inequality in the UK?
    The Race Disparity Audit, published by then Prime Minister Theresa May in 2017, showed inequalities between ethnicities in educational attainment, health, employment and treatment by police and the courts

    The 2017 Lammy Review found evidence of bias and discrimination against people from ethnic minority backgrounds in the justice system in England and Wales

    Also in 2017, the McGregor-Smith Review of race in the workplace found people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds were still disadvantaged at work and faced lower employment rates than their white counterparts

    An independent review of the Windrush scandal, published in March, found the Home Office showed "institutional ignorance and thoughtlessness towards the issue of race"

    Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-56585538

    My heart is very heavy today because I see no end to the racism in this country. As long as powerful leaders refuse to acknowledge that there is structural and systemic racism, there will be no change and things will get far worse and dangerous for minorities here. Meghan and famous footballers have experienced racism first hand publicly, but for the rest of the people, it’s racism in the quiet which makes it so soul crushing and the government own statistics that counter the whitewashing of this government race report.
    - devastated

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    1. Anonymous @ 13:22, Thank you for your post.

      R

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    2. I agree that there is racism everywhere. It does not have to be obvious or even intentional. I edit a journal on education in US universities and continue to be amazed at the overall attitude, which is something I was never aware of until I read these scholarly articles. So much better to admit it is there and then try to purposefully not act in a racist manner. There is nothing, I imagine, more demeaning than telling someone they are wrong when they experienced racism.

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    3. Oh, so sorry to hear this. Pathetic. Onward with efforts however.

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  16. Oh that thing I feels sorry for the entire world see full of racism everyone suffers from racism and different races and different color specially in Asia and other places in us and in even in our homeland there no difference

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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 :)