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Yara Shahidi      

Actress; Known for Sitcoms "Black-ish" & "Grown-ish"

Eighteen year old scholar, philanthropist and actress Yara Shahidi stars as popular teen “Zoey Johnson,” an ambitious, technologically infatuated high school junior in the multi award winning ABC comedy series “Black-ish.” Since the series debuted in September 2014, Yara has been awarded an NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Supporting Actress” in a comedy series, nominated for a Teen Choice Award, and is the recipient of a 2016 Gracie Award for Female in a Breakthrough Role. Shahidi is definitely one of Hollywood’s most heralded young talents as she continues to use her platform to empower and inspire others.

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Shahidi spent the early part of her childhood in the heart of Minneapolis, where she enjoyed annual visits to the state fair and assisting her grandfather with the family’s Persian Rug shop. Her father is a successful cinematographer, and her mother, a well- acknowledged commercial actress. The young star actually received her start alongside her mother, appearing in several international commercial and print campaigns. Her first major film came when she was offered the opportunity to audition for the role of ‘Olivia Danielson’ in the Paramount film “Imagine That,” opposite Eddie Murphy. She quickly took to the role of the creative and happy-go- lucky daughter to Murphy, bolstering her love of acting.

Shahidi went on to appear in television series such as ABC’s “In the Motherhood” with Cheryl Hines and Megan Mullally, CBS’ “Cold Case,” Disney’s “Wizards of Waverly Place,” FOX’s “Lie to Me,” and FOX’s “The Finder,” to name a few. Shahidi also maintains recurring roles on the hit ABC series “Scandal” as the ‘young Olivia Pope’ and as ‘Maddie’ on ABC Family’s “The Fosters.”

Shahidi’s extensive film roles include Sony Pictures’ “Unthinkable,” as the daughter of Samuel L. Jackson, Columbia Pictures’ “Salt,” opposite Angelina Jolie, Summit Entertainment’s “Alex Cross,” as the daughter of Tyler Perry, and the Weinstein Company film “Butter” where she starred opposite Jennifer Garner.

Not only is Yara equally committed to scholarship and acting, she also launched “Yara’s Club”, a partnership with The Young Women’s Leadership Schools (TYWLS) in New York. Yara’s Club is a bi-monthly digital meet up for Yara and students to discuss societal issues, self-improvement and higher education. Furthermore, Yara served as the spokesperson for DoSomething.Org and 3M’s “Science Sleuth” campaign, which raised funds for classrooms in need of science and technology resources in Minnesota and St. Louis. The young star has been spotlighted in The New York Times, Variety’s Youth Impact and Next Big Thing issues, and was named number three under Celebs to Watch for DoSomething.Org’s 2016 Celebs Gone Good list.

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Yara Shahidi On Her Heritage: 'I Will Never Hide That' I'm Black & Persian

Yara Shahidi speaks on stage during the Why TV is Hotter Than Movies panel at Tina Brown’s 7th Annual Women In The World Summit held at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on Thursday (April 7) in New York City.

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