In 2020 graduation message, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, speaks about George Floyd’s death

(LOS ANGELES) — Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, delivered a powerful speech to the 2020 graduates of Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles, her alma mater, urging them to “lead with love,” “lead with compassion,” and to “use your voice.”

Her video, shared Wednesday evening for the class of 2020’s virtual graduation, begins with Markle telling the all-girls school she was “really nervous” to address the “absolutely devastating” times we’re living in until coming to an important realization: “I realized the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing.”

Meghan continued by stating that “George Floyd’s life mattered,” as do the lives of, “so many other people whose names we know and whose names we do not know.”

Floyd, a black man, died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer put his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. Floyd’s death sparked protests across the globe.

Meghan said she experienced the LA riots during her youth, an event she noted was “also triggered by a senseless act of racism” in the police beating of Rodney King.

“I’m so sorry that you have to grow up in a world where this is still present,” the former Suits actress said.  “Now you get to be part of rebuilding,” adding, “when the foundation is broken, so are we.”

The Duchess signed off with the grads: “You are equipped, you are ready, we need you and you are prepared…Please know that I am cheering you on all along the way, I am exceptionally proud of you and I’m wishing you a huge congratulations on today, the start of all the impact you’re going to make in the world as the leaders that we all so deeply crave. Congratulations, ladies, and thank you in advance.”

By Carson Blackwelder and Stephen Iervolino
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