As Royal Patron, Meghan Markle Takes Interest In ACU Project To Decolonise the Curriculum Across 500 Universities

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In January 2019, Meghan Markle made her first visit to the Association of Commonwealth Universities, an organization representing over 500 universities spanning more than 50 Commonwealth countries. Queen Elizabeth II handed over her royal patronage to the Duchess of Sussex, as part of her royal porfolio of four patronages.

The Duchess has been preparing for the important patronage and met with the ACU leaders privately in December. Markles described the event as meeting "university leaders, academics & #students to discuss how we can build a better world through #highered."

The Duchess of Sussex reportedly supports a campaign to “decolonise the curriculum” and confront the legacy of British empire and racism on university campuses.

The movement to add more people of color and female thinkers and writers to university professorial positions — rather than focusing heavily on “male, pale and stale” ones — has been hugely controversial in the aftermath of a campaign to topple a statue of the “Victorian imperialist “ Cecil Rhodes at Oxford in 2016, writes Lipstick Alley.

It followed a similar #RhodesMustFall movement in South Africa, which succeeded in having a statue of Rhodes removed from the University of Cape Town.  At the royal’s January meeting, the duchess “expressed her surprise at the shockingly low figures of diversity in UK professors. “

Research from Advance HE revealed 68% of UK professors were white males, 23% white female, 6.5% black and minority ethnic (BME) male and 2% BME female. 

Meera Sabaratnam, head of the working party to decolonise the curriculum at SOAS, University of London and whose data inspired Meghan's 'Oh my God' response, agreed that 'change is long overdue'.

In October, the duchess received global praise for giving a powerful speech on feminism and women's suffrage in New Zealand on 125th anniversary of women achieving the right to vote in the country. Harper’s Bazaar writes: “t's clear that Meghan's passion for access to a fair education will influence the work she does in her royal patronages, and that's exciting.” To be frank, it sounds like Meghan is jumping out of an already hot frying pan into the fire. If no one reins her in, goddess bless the woman. ~ Anne

Winnie Harlow Poses In Bahamas As Sports Illustrated May 2019 Swimsuit Issue 'Rookie'

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Top Model Winnie Harlow shared a sneak peek on Instagram of her first Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition photo shoot in the Bahamas. Winnie has left no stone unturned in her mission to shed light and understanding on the skin condition known as vitiligo. And now she will grace the pages of the prestigious swimsuit magazine, with a May 2019 publication date.

Winnie is the 2019 ‘rookie’ model, filmed at the Bahamas’ Grand Isle Resort xxxx

Harlow continues her win as another milestone for inclusivity. Some diseases remain relatively hidden from the general public. Vitiligo, a condition in which the pigment cells of the skin are destroyed in certain areas of the body is very visible. It’s generally believed by experts that vitiligo is an autoimmune condition in which the body's defense system mistakenly attacks and destroys the body’s pigment cells. The exact cause is unknown.

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While the disease isn’t painful and doesn’t bring significant health consequences, itbrings countless emotional and psychological challenges as white patches spread larger across one’s body. For Winnie to bring her skin condition into the world of modeling prompts immeasurable compliments around her inner wisdom and self-confidence. Harlow also walked the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in November 2018 in another professional coup.

Winnie Harlow Model Archives @ AOC

A Minimum of 30-40% Of Catholic Priests Are Gay, Asserts NY Times, As Vatican Prepares Sex Abuse Summit

The Most Rev. Nicholas DiMarzio, the bishop of Brooklyn, followed dozens of other bishops in the United States in publishing  the names of suspected abusers .CreditCreditGregory A. Shemitz/Reuters

The Most Rev. Nicholas DiMarzio, the bishop of Brooklyn, followed dozens of other bishops in the United States in publishing the names of suspected abusers.CreditCreditGregory A. Shemitz/Reuters

The New York Times has delivered a staggering, in-depth look at the Catholic Church and its crisis over sexual abuse — and sexual abstinence generally, considering the scale of it homosexual population among priests. Entitled ‘It Is Not a Closet. It Is a Cage.’ Gay Catholic Priests Speak Out, writer Elizabeth Dias navigates the complexity of church doctrine that drives away homosexuals in shame, while attracting a preistly population estimated to be minimally one-third gay.

The read comes on the heels of the Vatican’s weekend defrocking of Theodore McCarrick, previously the Archbishop of Washington, DC and Newark and a high-ranking Cardinal.

McCarrick became one of the highest-ranking Americans to be removed from public ministry amid the global scandal that has engulfed the church after he was publicly accused last year of sexually abusing two children decades ago, as well as coercing adult seminarians to sleep with him, writes NBC News.

The cleric said he had “absolutely no recollection” of such incidents and considered himself innocent but that he would obey the orders of his superiors, writes The Economist. Pope Francis ordered McCarrick to live out his days in “prayer and penance” in a secluded place; he is believed to be in a friary in Kansas. “It has since emerged that two dioceses in New Jersey where Mr McCarrick had served as bishop had made substantial payments to men who said they were abused by him during their training for the priesthood. “

Dias writes that “gay men likely make up at least 30 to 40 percent of the American Catholic clergy, according to dozens of estimates from gay priests themselves and researchers. Some priests say the number is closer to 75 percent. One priest in Wisconsin said he assumed every priest is gay unless he knows for a fact he is not. A priest in Florida put it this way: “A third are gay, a third are straight, and a third don’t know what the hell they are.”

Two dozen gay priests were interviewed for Times article. Although countless studies repeatedly find no connection between homosexuality and abusing children, right-wing organizations close to personalities like for Trump cabinet and campaign advisor Steve Bannon, reference with deriison the church’s “homosexual subculture,” “lavender mafia,” or “gay cabal.”

On Friday, Feb. 15, Most Rev. Nicholas DiMarzio, the bishop of Brooklyn published the names of over 100 priests credibly accused of sexually abusing children. The disclosure list was among the largest so far revealed in America, coming from one of the Catholic Church’s dioceses. Reports are that the revelations are two times the number expected by professional researchers and advocates working on sex abuse in the church. The earliest name on the list was Monsignor John Cross, who was ordained in 1916.

“There were some names I did not think they would ever release that they did on this list, so it is better than I expected,” said Sister Sally Butler, a Dominican nun in Brooklyn and a member of Catholic Whistleblowers, a group of current and former clergy members who are activists against clerical abuse. “There are some missing names on this list that have me wondering. I think some people are still being protected.”

Pope Francis will welcome more than 100 top Catholic bishops worldwide to Rome this week for an unprecedented summit designed to tackle the issue of clergy sex abuse. Never before has the Vatican attacked this problem, and many view it as an opportunity for Pope Francis to make it clear that he is no longer slow to act on the problem.