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  • Olivia Smith

A Lesson from Meghan Markle's Childhood

We must challenge the narrative that only adults can be real philanthropists, but how? We can highlight inspiring kids. We can use data and research. We can also look backward, into the childhoods of today's role models and philanthropists.


This week the news is spinning around Meghan Markle. We know that as an adult she has worked to promote gender equality. She has also raised awareness by speaking up about her personal experiences with racism and mental health issues. But did you know that at age 11, she convinced Procter & Gamble to make a marketing campaign for dish soap less sexist?

At age 11, Meghan Markle was watching the news for her social studies class when she saw a Procter & Gamble dish soap commercial that said “women are fighting greasy pots and pans.” After seeing the commercial, and hearing boys in her class chime in and agree that only women do dishes, Meghan decided to take action. She wrote a letter to the president of Procter & Gamble speaking out against the sexist gender stereotype, urging P&G to change the commercial - and they did! To watch Meghan’s Nick News interview, click here.

Now, take time to reflect back on your own childhood:

  1. What are early signals and expressions of your own philanthropic instincts? Did you ever speak out against something you knew was wrong?

  2. Take a favorite role model and explore who they were as 8-12-year-olds. What was their lived experience? What philanthropic skills (researching, writing, speaking up, caring, listening, entertaining....) were they demonstrating?

  3. Help us build the case that kids are great philanthropists by sharing what you discover along the way.