Yara Shahidi is an actress, producer, and activist. She began her acting career at a young age appearing in commercials and advertisements before taking on bigger movie roles in films such as Imagine That and Salt, as well as major TV roles in the popular shows Black-ish and Grown-ish. Yara has received a number of awards for her acting including a Young Artist nomination for her performance in Imagine That, an NAACP Image Award for her role as a supporting actress in Black-ish, a Gracie Award for Female in a Breakthrough Role, was recognized in TIME Magazine’s 30 Most Influential Teens for her acting and humanitarianism, was honored at Essence Magazine’s Black Women in Hollywood Awards, and was honored with BET’s Young Star award at the 2017 BET Awards. In addition to her numerous on-screen roles, last year Yara launched her production company, 7th Sun, alongside her mother and signed a production deal with ABC Studios. Beyond her success in acting and producing, Yara was ranked by fashion website Net-a-Porter as one of the best dressed women of 2018 and was selected in 2019 by guest editor Meghan, Duchess of Sussex to appear on the cover of an issue of British Vogue.
Yara’s passions also extend to political participation and education of young people. She founded Eighteen x 18 with social news publisher NowThis, which functioned to encourage young people to vote during the 2018 midterm elections. Yara also partnered with the Young Women’s Leadership Network of New York to create Yara’s Club, a digital meetup for high school students to discuss societal issues, self-improvement and higher education. She served as a spokesperson for DoSomething.Org and 3M’s STEM campaign, and was spotlighted in The New York Times, Variety’s “Youth Impact” and “Next Big Thing” issues. Her awards and recognitions go beyond those of acting as she was named number three on the Celebs to Watch for DoSomething.Org’s 2016 Celebs Gone Good and was awarded the Daily Point of Light Award from the Detroit organization Points of Light. Yara graduated with honors from The Dwight School in New York and received a letter of recommendation to Harvard University from former First Lady Michelle Obama, where Yara majored in Sociology and African-American studies.