In early 2018, ‘Blackish’ star Yara Shahidi discussed the importance of political engagement, sitting down with Oprah for a SuperSoul Conversation live event the Harlem’s Apollo Theater. Her focus was turning her activism into "quantifiable action" by launching Eighteen x '18, a new initiative to boost voter turnout among young people.
Talking to ET’s Nischelle Turner at the recent Los Angeles premiere of ‘BlacKkKlansman’, Shahidi talked about Oprah referring to her at “the future”, while telling her that she could be president if she wanted to take on the assignment.
Now Yara Shahidi will join fellow actors Olivia Munn and Chrissy Metz at Girl Up’s first annual #GirlHero Awards, hosted by Kristen Bell, Scarlett Johansson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Gabrielle Union, Katy Perry, Renee Zellweger and Tony Goldwyn on Oct. 14.
Girl Up was founded by the United Nations Foundation in 2010 with the goal of preparing young girls for leadership positions in the movement toward gender equality, with around 40,000 participants working at locations in more than 100 countries. The organization provides its participants with leadership and social impact programs, as well as science, technology, engineering and math training.
When Shahidi applied to four of America’s most prestigious universities, former First Lady Michelle Obama wrote her letter of recommendation. Accepted at all four, the actor was headed to Harvard before deciding to defer for the moment. Shahidi is making a big effort this fall, using her star power to encourage her peers to become active in politics, while promoting her voter registration Eighteenx18 drive.