- NEW YORK
Actress Yara Shahidi has joined the SeeHer advisory board. SeeHer is the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) global industry movement for gender equality in advertising and media.
Shahidi is an acclaimed actress, producer, and change agent. Recently starring in the YA Romance The Sun Is Also a Star, Shahidi first gained recognition for her starring role as the oldest daughter Zoey Johnson on the sitcom Black-ish and its spin-off series Grown-ish. She began her acting career alongside her family, all of whom are involved in the entertainment industry. Yara has been awarded an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress and a Gracie Award for Female in a Breakthrough Role. She is a Glamour magazine Women of the Year honoree, and has been twice recognized by Time magazine as one of The 30 Most Influential Teens for her television role and humanitarian work.
Shahidi balances her acting career with her education and her passion for social engagement, consistently speaking out to address issues and spotlight work being done to elevate of the state of our global community. In 2016, she founded Eighteen x 18 (#WeVoteNextSummit) to provide a platform to empower and engage first-time voters during the 2018 midterm elections. Always purpose centered, the young star has made it a priority to put community first and, with her partners, has donated over $500,000 to several organizations, including Third Wave Fund, which contributes to a youth-led Gender Justice organization that also works to advance the political power, well-being, and self-determination of communities of color and low-income communities.
A prominent advocate for representation in media, in 2016, Shahidi received the Daily Points of Light Award in recognition of her passion for and commitment to utilizing her voice and platform. During her speech, she eloquently spoke of the importance of representation in the media.
Yara continues to champion STEM programs and resources for young students across the country, and to use her platform to advocate for funding for classrooms in need of scientific and technological resources. Shahidi collaborated with the Obama administration on several STEM initiatives, including co-hosting the White House Science Fair.
Shahidi comes from a close-knit family of creators. Her father Afshin is a cinematographer and photographer; her mother Keri is Yara’s producing partner and a former commercial actress. Her younger brothers, Sayeed and Ehsan, are also involved in the family businesses.
“Media impacts culture and how we interact with one another on a local and global scale. I am driven to use my voice and platform to raise awareness about the importance of representation in media,” said Shahidi.
“We are delighted to have Yara, a prominent voice and leader of Gen Z, join our advisory board and inform our strategy to engage this crucial generation for change,” said Christine Manna, president and chief operating officer of the ANA. “With our expanding emphasis on intersectionality, we are also extremely excited to collaborate with her on our targeted efforts to address the unique challenges that marginalized women and girls face in media portrayals.”