2021-09-02

Ovidiu Hrubaru / Shutterstock.com
  • Faith: Muslim
  • Career: Actress
  • Birthday:  February 10, 2000
  • Accomplishments:  NAACP Image Award
  • Fun Faith Fact!: Yara was raised to learn and appreciate both religions from her Muslim Iranian father and Christian African American mother. 

Yara Shahidi is an American activist, actress, and model. She rose to fame as the eldest daughter Zoey Johnson on the hit ABC show “Black-ish.” Currently, the young actress stars in its spin-off show “Grown-ish” on Freeform. As a child, she also had many iconic roles in movies such as “Imagine That,” starring award-winning actor Eddie Murphey.

The young actress was born in Minneapolis, MN. She comes from a very diverse ethnic background. Her mom, Keri Salter, is of both African American and Native Choctaw ethnicity. Afshin Shahidi, her father, is Iranian. The multi-platinum rapper Nas is their cousin once removed.

When Yara was four years old, the Shahidi family moved to California for Afshin’s photography job. Her father worked closely with music legend Prince for years as his photographer, so Yara has many childhood memories of the singer.

In 2017 Shahidi graduated high school with many honors and distinctions. One of which included a glowing letter of recommendation for her college applications. All her accomplishments led her to be accepted at the prestigious Harvard University. The following year she enrolled at Harvard as an Interdisciplinary Sociology and African American Studies major.

Shahidi founded the campaign “Eighteen x 18” with the publishing platform NowThis, which aimed to educate and encourage young adults to vote in all elections. The passionate activist also had the chance to interview presidential nominee Hillary Clinton 2017 and Georgia senator Raphael Warnock.

The 21-year-old actress had a voracious religious upbringing. Yara was raised to learn and appreciate both religions from an Iranian and African American woman of a Shia Muslim and Christian faith. Her goal in life is to utilize her platform to make a substantial change in this world.


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