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Yara Shahidi Has “the Audacity to Feel Optimistic”

Yara Shahidi Has “the Audacity to Feel Optimistic”

Yara Shahidi Has “the Audacity to Feel Optimistic”

Yara Shahidi, the popular American Actress, model, and activist took the stage at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall with Tory Burch 2days ago at the designer’s inaugural Embrace Ambition Summit. Burch has a billion-dollar brand side by side with a foundation which has given $35 million to 1,773 entrepreneurs women. The popular star of the two Tv show, Black-ish, and Grown-ish, Shahidi, will enroll at Harvard in the fall and new founded Eighteenx18, an organization installed to registering and educating first-time voters.

THis might be the first time knowing Shahidi; she had appeared in many various short videos with her father lately, Afshin Shahidi, shot at Prince’s Minneapolis compound, Paisley Park. Her dad was a longtime Prince photographer, and he had discovered Yara to be a superstar right from her tender age. In fact, in the video clip, we can all see that Prince kept a signed photograph of Yara.

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“Being so young normalized who he was,” Shadidi reflected in the video. “What was really surreal was when Paisley reopened to the public and me getting messages from people saying, your picture is in his office.” She’s also starring with her mother, actress Keri Shahidi, in a Mother’s Day video for Burch’s social channels that will debut April 25.

A week ago, Actress Shahidi had a call from the Los Angeles to discuss the project. “Ultimately, we want to make sure that our passion—which has led to rallies and marches and phone banks and calling our representatives—turns into policy change,” she began.

Though she portrays herself as “unabashedly blue”—i.e., a Democrat—Eighteenx18 is nonpartisan. “It’s about having a platform that invests in us as viable citizens who are socially engaged, and rather than seeing our engagement as the anomaly, really marketing to us, because if we aren’t participatory in these midterm elections or our government and system at large, when we get to our young-adult years, and all of these policies [around gun reform and criminal justice reform] aren’t implemented, we’re going to wonder what happened.”

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The idea came up since the election and was established with a website and Twitter account several months ago. Eventually, it will grow to include live events and long-form content. One of Shahidi’s first work as its founder was to turn her 18th birthday into a voter registration party; she has been a living testimony an agent of change. “We saw how predictions went the last time around,” she said, referring to the presidential election, “but I have the audacity to feel optimistic.

Being part of a generation that’s directly affected by school shootings, being part of a generation that feels invested in the life of Stephon Clark [the 22-year-old unarmed Sacramento man who was fatally shot by police] . . . . You have an agitated generation, and we’re becoming hyper-aware of the resources we have and our true power. The next step is what we’ll do at the polls.”

Shahidi’s interest for a great awareness brought up a question: Is she interested in a political post? Here’s betting it’s a line of discussion that came up at the summit. She told Vogue: “What’s shifted [for me] is the idea of being aware of our own necessity. Our voices are needed. Coming into this year, being aware of that fact has really expanded what I’m open to doing, where I think my voice is needed. That’s mentally opened doors.”

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The Embrace Ambition Summit was held last Tuesday, April 24. Other great speakers were there, the likes of Margaret Atwood, Julianna Margulies, Lindsey Vonn, Congressman Joe Kennedy III, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

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