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Meghan Markle will interview co-founder of virtual summit on gender and politics

The Duchess of Sussex will take part in a virtual summit next week, it has been announced. 

Meghan Markle, 38, will appear at The 19th* Represents 2020 Virtual Summit, which features a series of conversations with prominent women in US politics, civic engagement, journalism and the arts.

The Duchess, who lives in Los Angeles with Prince Harry and their 15-month-old son Archie, will interview Emily Ramshaw, the co-founder and CEO of The 19th*, a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom focused on gender and politics.

The discussion next Friday will close the summit. It will take place three days after the publication of the Duke and Duchess of Susssex’s biography, Finding Freedom.

In a statement to Glamour, Meghan said: ‘The 19th*’s commitment to reporting and storytelling that lifts up those who are too often underrepresented in the media has never been more important.

‘I’m looking forward to asking the co-founder what it means to build a media outlet with gender equity, diversity, and community at its core.’

Ramshaw said the Duchess ‘reached out’ to the organisation after learning of its work. ‘She [Meghan] told us that our vision for The 19th*—building a truly diverse and representative newsroom that covers women with nuance—spoke to her immediately.’

The 19th*, which launched last week, describes itself as ‘a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom reporting at the intersection of gender, politics and policy’. 

Its website description reads: ‘We aim to empower women — particularly those underserved by and underrepresented in American media — with the information, community and tools they need to be equal participants in our democracy.’

The 19th* summit features an impressive line-up including US Senator Kamala Harries, Melinda Gates, Hillary Clinton and Meryl Streep. 

Each day is themed around a topic like ‘On Race and Gender’, ‘Electability*’ and ‘The Future is Female’. 

Many of the sessions will take the form of conversations or panel discussions. Streep will be joined by Zoe Saldaña for a performance titled Voices of Suffrage.  

It will mark Meghan’s second appearance at a virtual summit in recent weeks, following her address to young women around the world last month for the UN initiative Girl Up.

On this occasion the Duchess will be flexing her interviewer muscles. Meghan previously conducted a high profile interview with First Lady Michelle Obama for her Forces For Change issue of British Vogue.

Ramshaw admitted the idea of being interviewed by Meghan is ‘surreal’.  

In the months since moving to Los Angeles at the start of lockdown, the Duchess of Sussex has made only a handful of virtual appearances. 

In the immediate wake of the death of the Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, Meghan delivered a speech to the graduating class of her former high school about racial equality and justice. 

She also joined Prince Harry for a virtual roundtable discussion with young leaders from around the Commonwealth.  

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