After almost two years of living in the U.S. and fighting for social justice, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were recently recognized for their work by the NAACP Image Awards. The couple attended the award ceremony on Feb. 26, where they gave a speech that highlighted the “era of the digital justice movement.”
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle received the President’s Award
On Feb. 24, it was announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would receive the special President’s Award at the NAACP Image Awards.
Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP, said in a statement, “We’re thrilled to present this award to Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who together have heeded the call to social justice and have joined the struggle for equity both in the US and around the world.”
Meanwhile, Harry and Meghan acknowledged the award in a statement. “It’s a true honor to be recognized by President Derrick Johnson and the NAACP, whose efforts to propel racial justice and civil rights are as vital today as they were nearly 115 years ago,” the couple said.
The Sussexes talked about the ‘era of digital justice movement’
When the Sussexes appeared at the NAACP Image Awards to accept their award, they gave a speech and talked about the “era of digital justice movement.”
“This community knows what it means to speak up for what is right and to march forward is just,” Harry said, “As the fight for justice for justice still remains, it’s time to extend this march to the world online, a place where hate and discrimination are fueled instantly, propagated globally and felt deeply.”
“This is the era of the digital justice movement,” Meghan added. “We are proud to partner with NAACP and each of you to translate the vital efforts of those who came before us to the modern challenges that exist ahead of us.”
The NAACP and the Sussexes’ charity organization, Archewell, also teamed up to create the NAACP-Archewell Digital Civil Rights Award. According to Archewell’s website, this award seeks to celebrate “a new generation of leaders that are creating transformational change at the intersection of social justice and technology — working to advance civil and human rights.” This year, the award went to Dr. Safiya Noble, who has done research on how supposedly neutral algorithms could contribute to discrimination.
The Sussexes have been trying to combat online misinformation
Harry and Meghan have spoken out about the danger of misinformation in the press and on social media.
For example, in November 2021, Harry alleged that “misinformation is a global humanitarian crisis” at Wired Magazine’s RE-WIRED event. He also added, “I learned from a very early age that the incentives of publishing are not necessarily aligned with the incentives of truth.”
Meanwhile, Meghan spoke about the same subject at The New York Times’ DealBook Online Summit. She said, “We all lose when misinformation sells more than truth, when moral exploitation sells more than decency, and when companies create their business model to profit from people’s pain.”
In January 2022, the Sussexes also spoke out against Spotify for allowing COVID-19 misinformation to spread.