Yara Shahidi, Called A Voice Of Her Generation, Defers Harvard For Voter Registration

Yara Shahidi by Scott Trindle Vogue UK Oct 2018 (4).jpg

Why Yara Shahidi Is The Voice of Her Generation, Lensed By Scott Trindle For Vogue UK October 2018

Yara Shahidi is styled by Caroline Newell in ‘Why Yara Shahidi Is The Voice Of Her Generation’, lensed by Scott Trindle for Vogue UK’s October 2018 issue. Olivia Singer breaks bread with Shahidi at Sweet Chick, a low-key fried-chicken restaurant in the city's Fairfax district, owned by her cousin, Nasir Jones.  "We come here a lot," she grins, as her mom and 10-year-old brother join the convo, craving more crayfish hush puppies. "I'm Iranian-American... I really hit the cultural jackpot in terms of food."

The daughter of Hollywood parents, Shahidi’s rise has been noteworthy. The Obama family’s love of ‘Black-ish’ and its confrontation of issues from police brutality and middle-class black guilt is balanced by Trump’s derision of the show. "Can you imagine the furor of a show, 'Whiteish'! Racism at highest level?" he tweeted.

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.

"OK, coupled with the fact that I was in Barbados with my family, that was a peak life moment," Shahidi confessed. "I guess, on a serious note... I just live in a state of constant awe, where I'm like, 'How am I where I am?' And I'm just grateful that there truly is a community of people that are supporting me."

"I feel like when my parents helped me into this industry through commercials and then through TV, we always, I guess, dissolved the idea of competition especially amongst other women of color. And I feel like everyday that I get to be here and like see everybody together, it just proves that that is so right ,and that we are never in competition but the power of uplifting one another," she continued. "I mean, that's what all of I feel like September covers have been about, that's what everything has been about. And I love seeing that love. And I love being the recipient of it."

The young star was referring to the breakout number of women of color covering the biggest fashion and women’s lifestyle magazines’ September issues.

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.