UK Smart Works Helps Women Re-enter Workforce With 'Pay It Forward' Writes Meghan Markle

UK Smart Works Helps Women Re-enter Workforce With 'Pay It Forward' Writes Meghan Markle

In 2019 Meghan Markle visited one of her patronages Smart Works, the London-based organization devoted to helping long-term unemployed and vulnerable women re-enter the workforce. The project includes help for the women in dressing for their best job interviews.

Smart Works is back in the news, short-listed for the “Charity Of The Year” honor by the U.K.’s Third Sector Awards. Kate Stephens, the CEO of Smart Works, made the announcement as the Meghan-edited, September 2019 issue of British Vogue hit the streets of London on Friday.

The Duchess of Sussex added to the Smart Works spotlight with British Vogue news that Markle will be collaborating on a capsule clothing collection that will benefit Smart Works.



Baby Archie’s mom detailed that the project will be launched with Marks and Spencer, John Lewis, Jigsaw and her good friend Misha Nonoo as a 'one-for-one' system: “For each item purchased by a customer, one is donated to charity,” the 37 year-old wrote in the magazine. Nonoo is a close friend of the Duchess of Sussex and currently has a popup-shop open in London.

In her British Vogue article, Meghan explains that Smart Works is about far more than a woman going through her closet and donating unneeded clothes. “It’s about looking at that special item you’re holding on to – the memory of that suit or dress that helped you achieve your dream job – and wanting to pay it forward. Not a hand-me-down, but rather a hand being held.”

Those donated clothes make it to a Smart Works centre, where clients receive an interview outfit as a result of a session with a stylist. Next, volunteer coaches ready women for their upcoming interview. Once they score their dream job, they come back for a second outfit, to see them through until their first pay cheque. It’s the enthusiasm of the volunteers, the earnestness of the staff and, most of all, the blushing, bashful and beautiful smile that crosses a client’s face when she sees herself in the mirror, that I have found so profoundly compelling. Because in that moment, she feels special and emboldened.

Markle acknowledges that it can be difficult for the client women to sort through all the Smart Works clothes and pull together their best looks, even though every woman has an assist from the Smart Works representative. The Duchess’ vision of a Smart Works capsule collection of more classic options for a workwear wardrobe germinated from this challenge.



British Vogue's September 2019 Issue Shares 'Forces for Change' Cover By Peter Lindbergh

Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex guest edits British Vogue’s September 2019 issue, considered the most important issue of the year. Editor-in-chief-Edward Enninful invited Meghan to appear on the cover, but she declined, saying it would be considered “boastful”. With minions clamoring to criticize the Duchess at every turn in the road, declining was absolutely the correct decision.

Instead, the September 2019 British Vogue cover features 15 women who are “trailblazing changemakers, united by their fearlessness in breaking barriers”, according to a statement issued by Buckingham Palace.

The female ensemble of “trailblazing changemakers” includes activist actor Jane Fonda, climate change advocate, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and supermodel now maternal health advocate Christy Turlington Burns.

Markle has worked on the project for seven months, connecting with Michelle Obama and persuading her husband Prince Harry to join the dialogue with world-renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall.

Rounding out the list are Adwoa Aboah, mental health campaigner and model; Adut Akech, Model and former refugee (although she says she will always be a refugee); Ramla Ali, boxer; Sinead Burke, diversity advocate and lecturer; Gemma Chan, campaigner and actor; Laverne Cox, LGBTQIA+ advocate and actor; Salma Hayek Pinault, actor, producer and women’s rights advocate; Francesca Hayward, royal ballet principal dancer; Jameela Jamil, body positivity advocate and actor; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author and feminist; and Yara Shahidi, founder of Eighteen x 18 and actor (and adored by Michelle Obama).

Meghan said: “These last seven months have been a rewarding process, curating and collaborating with Edward Enninful, British Vogue’s editor-in-chief, to take the year’s most-read fashion issue and steer its focus to the values, causes and people making impact in the world today.

“Through this lens I hope you’ll feel the strength of the collective in the diverse selection of women chosen for the cover as well as the team of support I called upon within the issue to help bring this to light.

“I hope readers feel as inspired as I do by the forces for change they’ll find within these pages.”

"To have the country's most influential beacon of change guest edit British Vogue at this time has been an honour, a pleasure and a wonderful surprise," said Enninful. The September 2019 issue hits newsstands on Friday, August 2.

The cover is photographed by Peter Lindbergh — his first British Vogue cover since September 1992. Many of the women were photographed via video links.

The 16th spot on the cover will appear in print as a silver reflective mirror, to show how you, the reader, are part of this extraordinary moment in time – and to encourage you to use your own platform to bring change.

The Duchess will introduce Forces for Change in her own words in her guest editor’s letter, in addition to her interview with America’s former First Lady Michelle Obama.

Rep. Lauren Underwood (D) Introduces Bill To Standardize Health Care Screenings At US Border

Rep. Lauren Underwood (D) Introduces Bill To Standardize Health Care Screenings At US Border

In the cage match between Trump and the Squad, it's easy to miss enlightened comments about the Mexico border migrant crisis like the one Democratic Congresswoman Lauren Underwood just delivered on 'Morning Joe'.

Congresswoman Underwood introduced The U.S. Border Patrol Medical Screening and Standards Act, which would standardized processes and training to ensure consistent medical screenings for migrants in US custody at the Mexico border, according to a news release.

"We progressive women aren't going anywhere," was her final statement. Underwood never embraced all of the Squad's positions or style; not did she try to separate herself from them. But as a Democratic woman of color who defeated a Republican in Illinois’s 14th congressional district in 2018, she's in that camp derided by our most left-wing voices. As if 'she' is the problem in executing the Democratic agenda and not Republicans!

LVMH Takes Minority Position In Stella McCartney | Makes Stella Sustainability Adviser To Arnault

Stella McCartney Partners With LVMH.jpg

Stella McCartney is making front page news with the announcement that the designer, who abandoned her relationship with Kerring in 2018, has now joined forces with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury group.

McCartney will remain in her role as her brand’s creative director and also as majority stockholder in the Stella McCartney business. Her additional responsibilities include becoming a special adviser to Bernard Arnault, LVMH’s chairman, and also to the LVMH board, on the topic of sustainability.

The fashion industry has an enormously negative and earth-harming footprint on the environment, and no one in fashion world is better prepared to fill this role of LVMH adviser on sustainability than Stella McCartney.

The addition of Stella McCartney’s voice and brand to the LVMH creative and leadership stable underscores the company’s commitment to gender equity. Since 2017, LVMH has named Maria Grazia Chiuri to head Dior and Claire Waight Keller to lead Givenchy. Arnaut has taken a minority position in the also sustainability-focused Gabriela Hearst, while creating a blockbuster disruption of the entire luxury industry with the creation of a new fashion house Fenty, created with Rihanna.

In talking about her new partnership, Stella McCartney said that since ending her partnership with LVMH rival Kerring, she had been pursued by many potential partners and investors wanting to help expand her business.

In the end, McCartney made a seemingly wise decision, one that gives her an opportunity to have heavy influence on issues that matter to her a great deal, while tapping into funding and a professional contacts base that will give her enormous flexibility. The importance of Stella’s access to Arnault and the LVMH board of directors can’t be understated.

“The chance to realize and accelerate the full potential of the brand alongside Mr. Arnault and as part of the LVMH family, while still holding the majority ownership in the business, was an opportunity that hugely excited me,” she said.

Reflections on Minnesota + The Somali Community, As Trump Tells The Quartet To Leave America

Nawal Noor was named one of 24 Bush Foundation fellows this year. She plans to expand her business and pursue national leadership opportunities.

Nawal Noor was named one of 24 Bush Foundation fellows this year. She plans to expand her business and pursue national leadership opportunities.

I just popped into the Minneapolis Tribune to get a read on their Quartet reporting -- and Trump's racist rants. It's factual and neutral w/o commentary.

I'll take the opportunity to share a totally separate article about another Somali-American citizen in the Twin Cities: Nawal Noor.

She is the rare woman in construction at the developer level. And definitely the rare woman of color. Noor is hiring more immigrants and ex-offenders.

Minnesota is my original home, and Minneapolis the place of my closest, loved very much relatives. I was not fortunate enough to grow up there.

This story of Nawal Noor is Minnesota at its best, with the Twin Cities welcoming countless Somali immigrants and surely standing by them in these difficult times -- in principles of free speech and democracy. Racism is racism, and Minnesotans know it when they see it.

Is Minnesota a perfectly just place? Or course not. We all remember the horrible death of Philando Castile and the not guilty verdict against the officer who killed him.

Minnesota voters will decide how to handle all these controversies and how they make their state better or worse. But I know for certain that in Minneapolis, these days are very painful on every front. They have been for months now. And Minneapolis-St. Paul in particular, will treat Trump, his racism, Ilhan Omar, and the impact of all this conflict on their Somali and Jewish communities -- in particular -- in a reasonable, fair and humane way.

Pelosi Is Defiant Against Nadler's Jump Start On Impeachment, Wants Trump In Jail


Pelosi Is Defiant Against Nadler's Jump Start On Impeachment, Wants Trump In Jail

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi affirmed Tuesday night that she wants to see President Donald Trump “in prison”. Her comments came Tuesday night in a heated clash with House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler over the feasibility and timing of launching an impeachment inquiry against Trump.

Politico reports that “ Nadler and other committee leaders have been embroiled in a behind-the-scenes turf battle for weeks over ownership of the Democrats’ sprawling investigation into Trump.” The Speaker, widely considered to be the most formidable female politico in the world, stood her ground, with the support of other committee leaders. Their investigations would stop if an official impeachment inquiry is stopped.

“I don’t want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison,” Pelosi said, according to multiple Democratic sources familiar with the meeting. Instead of impeachment, Pelosi still prefers to see Trump defeated at the ballot box and then prosecuted for his alleged crimes, according to the sources.