Duchess Meghan reportedly reaches out to survivor of alleged racist hate crime

By Zach Harper

Duchess Meghan has reportedly been in touch with Althea Bernstein, a biracial woman who is said to have recently survived a horrific attack.

Michael Johnson, the CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County, has been in touch with Althea. He said the Duchess of Sussex contacted him after reading about what had reportedly happened to her. Althea is said to have been lit on fire in Madison, Wisc.. and the FBI has opened a hate crime investigation. Meghan and the 18-year-old had a 40-minute conversation by phone, Michael said. He said Harry joined in for 10 minutes of the call. Michael recently told the Associated Press Althea is recovering from burns to her face and neck.

"Her and Meghan talked about the importance of self care and allowing herself to heal," Michael told Channel 3000. "And she applauded her for the way that she responded and pretty much said, 'Hey, Michael, give me her cellphone number. I want to stay in touch. And let me know when you want me to come back and talk to people in Wisconsin.'

"She's struggling," he continued about how Althea is doing. "It's a challenge for her. It's very, very emotional. I talked to her three or four times today, and I'll tell you Meghan lifted her spirits."

Satya Rhodes-Conway, Madison's mayor, said what happened to Althea is "horrifying and absolutely unacceptable."

"While we are still learning more about the details, current information suggests this may have been a premeditated crime targeted toward people of colour, which makes the incident even more disturbing," she said in a statement.

Michael said he was incredibly impressed with how Meghan spoke to Althea, saying she sounded like a "seasoned counsellor" and advised her to stay off social media to avoid reading hateful comments.

"As I heard her, I thought, 'She has to talk to more kids,' and I'm thankful she agreed to do it," he told Channel 3000.

Prince Harry and Meghan will reportedly join Michael to speak to youth in Wisconsin in the near future.

Meghan, who is also biracial, has been very outspoken about the racism she's experienced and witnessed. Earlier this month, a video resurfaced that features her speaking about it.

Meghan and Harry have been very active in supporting racial justice and anti-racist organizations since they've moved to Los Angeles. Earlier this month, the duchess gave a special address to the graduating class of her former high school in the city. She spoke about George Floyd's death and anti-racism.

The Sussexes are also reportedly supporting a campaign to stop online hate speech and have been meeting with community organizations such as the NAACP, Color of Change and the Anti-Defamation League in connection with it.

An additional report earlier in June stated the couple had been meeting with organizers to discuss anti-Black racism and other issues related to the Black Lives Matter movement.

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