Harry and Meghan praise ‘inspirational’ US lawyer who won Archewell Foundation gong

Prince Harry made a covert appearance at an awards ceremony to present an accolde from the Archewell Foundation to a US investigative journalist.

The Duke of Sussex appeared via video link at the NAACP Image Awards to present the 2023 Digital Civil Rights Award to Nabiha Syed, who is also a lawyer.

After presenting the award, Harry released a joint statement with Meghan in which he praised Ms Syed as an ‘inspiration’ and said they were ‘proud’ to present her with the gong.  

The award was given to Ms Syed for her work in uncovering racial bias in how technology is used as she heads up tech company The Markup. 

The royal couple say the award supports ‘a new generation of visionaries’ who are creating ‘transformational’ change advancing civil and human rights. 

The second ever Digital Civil Rights Award from the Archewell Foundation was presented to Nabiha Syed this weekend at the NAACP Awards. Pictured: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the NAACP Image Awards in 2022

The Markup’s investigations have uncovered hidden racial bias in mortgage approval and student risk algorithms.

The site has also revealed how telecommunications firms offer poorer, more racially diverse neighbourhoods slower internet speeds for the same price as those in other areas.

In a joint statement the Duke and Duchess said: ‘When we founded this award with the NAACP, we wanted to highlight and uplift people across the country who are transforming the digital world for the better.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex released a joint statement praising the work of Ms Syed through her company The Markup in which they said they were 'proud' to support her

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex released a joint statement praising the work of Ms Syed through her company The Markup in which they said they were ‘proud’ to support her

‘Nabiha Syed is doing just that, harnessing her own expertise to push for safer, more inclusive online communities.

‘Nabiha and her team are shedding light on some of the most critical issues of our time and in doing so, empowering all of us to reclaim some of our most basic freedoms: truth, safety, and choice.

‘She’s an inspiration to us and so many others, and we’re proud to support her incredibly important work.’

Ms Syed, who is a lawyer as well as a media executive, said she was ‘humbled’ to accept the award from the NAACP and for the support of the Archewell Foundation.

She said: ‘Technology is the architecture of our reality – but unfortunately, that architecture can perpetuate inequality and injustice.

‘Our job now is to challenge technology to serve us all, not just those who hold power and privilege.’

After receiving the award, Nabiha posted a still of the video call she had with Prince Harry to receive her award on her Instagram story, revealing she was ‘stunned’ to have been recognised in the category.

NAACP president and CEO Derrick Johnson said: ‘We are honoured to award and support Nabiha Syed in her mission to make democracy work for all.

‘While technology has made everything more accessible and everyone more connected, it has the potential to cause tremendous setbacks for civil rights, as we have witnessed in recent years.

‘We need to support the greatest minds in tech who are developing equitable platforms and holding corporations accountable, and that is exactly what Nabiha Syed is doing.

‘We are grateful to The Archewell Foundation and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who have been tremendous partners in the fight to advance civil and human rights across the tech sector.’

Ms Syed, who won a Marshall scholarship to study law at Oxford, is also a media lawyer who advised two US presidents on freedom of expression. Her portrait hangs at Yale Law School, whose media law clinic she co-founded.

Before she joined The Markup, she was vice president and associate general counsel at BuzzFeed, where she successfully defended against libel litigation which resulted from the publication of the Steele – or ‘Trump-Russia’ dossier – which alleged the former president’s campaign had colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

She is the second winner of the award and will be given 100,000 US dollars (£83,000) to advance new work, expand leadership and expertise, or ‘continue their impact in the field of digital equity’.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk