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Yara Shahidi: Actress and Activist

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Yara Shahidi is most commonly known for her work as an actress and her breakout role on the hit television show Black-ish. From there, Shahidi went on to star in the Black-ish spin-off Grown-ish that focuses primarily on her character, Zoey, as she navigates college life. Although Shahidi rose to fame as an actress she has also become a very public social activist over the last few years. 

Her public activism started around 2016 as a part of the Let Girls Learn campaign that was established by Michelle Obama. The Let Girls Learn campaign focuses on equal opportunities for education for women on a global scale. It promotes the importance of education for women and the impact education can have on self-confidence and support systems. 

Shahidi was working on Black-ish when she joined the campaign and she was also still a high school finishing up her senior year. Shahidi later went on to attend Harvard University for college to study Interdisciplinary Sociology and African American Studies. 

Shahidi then went on to start a campaign of her own called We Vote Next. The campaign focuses on voting rights and opportunities for young adults who are newly legal voters in the United States. We Vote Next promotes political engagement for teenagers and young adults and the importance that their votes can have as well as the voice for change that voting can give them. 

The We Vote Next website gives users an easy and accessible way to register to vote as well as information on ballots, political candidates, issues, voting rights, youth civic engagement, volunteering opportunities and more. Basically, every resource a novice voter could possibly need. 

She finds inspiration for activism from her family who have always been involved in service, according to PopSugar

Shadidi has been balancing her education, a career in acting, and being a public advocate for social issues, so gracefully, it seems she was born for it.

Shahidi took her rise to fame as a successful actress and well-known celebrity on social media to give a voice to important issues. She has taken full advantage of the opportunity of her celebrity status and fan following to make a real difference. 

She is an inspiration for all young women who strive to make a change in a society where young women are not always listened to or taken seriously. Shahid has shown young girls and women everywhere that their voice matters as well as the importance of education not only when it comes to school, but politics and social issues too. 

It is always inspiring when a celebrity uses their fame or social media following to make a difference in the world. Shadidi has used her platform in amazing ways and I cannot wait to see what the young actress and activist does next.

Gillian is a third-year at Cal Poly SLO. She is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Child Development. Gillian is an editor and writer for Cal Poly Her Campus this year. She enjoys writing about sustainable fashion, social media trends, and activism. Even though she is planning a career in psychology, she loves being a part of Her Campus because it allows her to have a creative outlet and continue her passion for writing.
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