Meghan Markle talked about the ongoing social change in the United States during a recent virtual summit! As People shares, Meghan took part in a conversation with Emily Ramshaw, the cofounder and CEO of an organization called The 19th*, serving as moderator for the special event.

Meghan calls return to America "devastating" at first

Meghan talked about how she felt returning to the United States in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement, sharing that she was at first saddened by current circumstances. "To come back and to just see this state of affairs, I think at the onset, if I'm being honest, it was just devastating," the Duchess of Sussex said. "It was so sad to see where our country was in that moment."

"If there's any silver lining in that, I would say that in the weeks after the murder of George Floyd, in the peaceful protests that you were seeing, in the voices that were coming out," she continued, "in the way that people were actually owning their role…it shifted from sadness to a feeling of absolute inspiration, because I can see that the tide is turning."

Meghan says she's excited to be part of the "changes"

Meghan shared that she's looking forward to having the opportunity to effect social change now that she's once again living in California! She explained that she's glad to see there's been a call to action for people to actually do something about racial injustice in the United States, including participating in peaceful protests. 

"From my standpoint, it’s not new to see this undercurrent of racism and certainly unconscious bias," she said, "but I think to see the changes that are being made right now is really — it's something I look forward to being a part of. And being part of using my voice in a way that I haven’t been able to of late. So, yeah, it’s good to be home."

Meghan also talked to Ramshaw about the beginning of The 19th*, which is a "nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom reporting at the intersection of gender, politics and policy" according to their website. "You're capturing this moment in such an extraordinary way...You did it," the Duchess of Sussex said.

Meghan talks about the importance of democratic vote

Meghan also talked to Ramshaw about how important it is to vote! "When I have these conversations about encouraging people to go out and vote," she said, "I think it's often challenging for men and women alike and certainly for people to remember just how hard it was to get the right to vote. And to be really aware and not taking that for granted."

"My husband for example — he's never been able to vote," Meghan said, referring to Prince Harry's British citizenship. "I really do hope what you're able to encourage and what we're able to see happen through The 19th* over the course of the next few months is that women understand that their voices are needed now more than ever — and the best way to exercise that is through voting."

During the event, Meghan even touched on how busy motherhood can be, reflecting on her experiences with her and Harry's son, Archie! "I know what it's like with a toddler," she told Ramshaw. "There's not a lot of time." Several other influential women also took part in the summit for The 19th*, including Melinda Gates, Meryl Streep, Hillary Clinton, and Kamala Harris.