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Yara Shahidi

2022 Speaker
Yara Shahidi

YARA SHAHIDI is an award-winning actress, producer, and the breakout star of ABC’s Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated series black-ish. In 2019, alongside her business partner and mother, Keri Shahidi, she expanded her relationship with ABC by signing a multi-year producing deal under the moniker 7th Sun Productions. Currently, she serves as executive producer and lead of Freeform’s black-ish spinoff series, grown-ish. Next up, Shahidi will take on the role of Tinker Bell in Disney’s live-action film, Peter Pan & Wendy. She will also executive produce and star in Amazon Studios’ upcoming romantic-comedy Sitting in Bars with Cake. Offscreen, Shahidi is a champion for inclusive media programming, and an advocate for equity. Identified as a leader of the New Hollywood guard, she has received numerous accolades for her work outside of entertainment, such as TIME magazine’s 30 Most Influential Teens, Forbes 30 Under 30, British Vogue Forces for Change, Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year and Essence magazine’s Black Women in Hollywood. Inspired by her extensive work with President and First Lady Obama, Shahidi founded Eighteen x 18, now called WeVoteNext, to shine a light on Gen Z and BIPOC inclusion in the political process. Shahidi graduated from Harvard University with a BA in social studies and African American studies, with a concentration in Black Political Thought Under a Neocolonial Landscape. Her final thesis for graduation was entitled, “I AM A MAN”: The Emancipation of Humanness from Western Hegemony Through the Lens of Sylvia Wynter. Shahidi currently serves as a global ambassador for Cartier, Dior Beauty and Dell.

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