Actress, Producer & Change Agent
Yara Shahidi is an award-winning actress, producer, and the breakout star of ABC’s Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated series black-ish. 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, which is the #1 cable comedy among the 18 – 49-year-old demographic. She also executive produces and stars in Meta’s new interview show, Yara Shahidi’s Day Off, where she joins her celebrity peers and gets a glimpse into their lives through a variety of experiences that reflect their authentic interests outside of their fame. Recently, Yara voiced Callie in Netflix’s animated film, My Father’s Dragon.
Shahidi can also be seen in the role of "Tinker Bell" in Disney’s live-action film, Peter Pan & Wendy. She serves as executive producer and stars in Amazon Studios’ romantic-comedy Sitting in Bars with Cake. Additionally, she appears in Apple’s upcoming American anthology drama series, Extrapolations.
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 to name a few. 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. A sought-after public speaker, Shahidi has appeared in conversation with university peers and thought leaders such as: Dr. Angela Davis, President Obama, Harry Belafonte Jr., former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Dr. Cornell West, Senator Cory Booker, and Senator Rev. Raphael Warnock.
Shahidi graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. 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.
Yara was absolutely incredible! Our board and the audience were extremely impressed with how poised, articulate, and confident she was, especially for someone of her age. Her remarks also aligned perfectly with the conference's theme and purpose. Overall, we were extremely grateful and pleased that she was the keynote speaker for the conference.