Yara Shahidi is one of the most noted voices of Generation Z. Not only is she an extremely talented actress and model, she is a prolific activist, that is constantly challenging everyone world-wide to stand up for what they believe in.
First speeches, opportunities & encounters. These are the moments that set the stage for what's next. Today, in partnership with @Fossil, @Aichaxc from @girlsclubny delivered her first-ever public speech — & she was incredible ⚡️ Check out @Fossil's Insta Stories to see more from this inspiring morning at the @The.Wing #FossilFirsts #FossilSponsored
Recently, the seventeen-year-old sat down with a small group, in support of the Lower Eastside Girls Glub, for “Fossil Firsts,” which is an empowering talk hosted by the watch brand to celebrate everything from first steps to marking milestones and beyond.
Here are some of the highlights from her conversation as printed in Glamour Magazine.
On why firsts are important: “It’s important both personally and publicly. I feel like they break barriers within oneself to figure out what you are, and what you are not, and who you want to be. Publicly, they make an impact, like the first Somali American representative in Minnesota-there are so many firsts that are changing the world and our landscape.
On being an activist: “My trouble with defining activism is that it tells you what it’s not and activism is everything. For me, it comes through art: being intentional with the roles I choose, backing projects that are socially aware, or trying to push forward a progressive conversation and public speaking is another method.”
On the meaning behind her name” My full name is Yara Sayeh Shahidi. I am half Iranian, and it’s an Iranian name. Yar-the root of it is Arabic and Farsi, and it means friend; Yara means someone close to your heart. Sayeh is shadow, and Shahidi means witness. So my name is Someone Close to Your Heart Shadow Witness, which is pretty cool. I should be a spy. Shadow Witness should be my code name.”
On her ultimate goal: “There’s a lack of humanity that goes behind policy change-policies that make being a woman a preexisting condition-and it’s because they aren’t thinking about who that affects, they’re thinking theoretically and tax break and money. And money isn’t human, we are human. The goal of my activism is to bring humanity back into humanity.”
And finally, on the firsts she’s looking forward to: “My fist day on campus, the first day of completely owning my space, the first day where it all magically clicks, the first day in which I realize this is my next passion project, to give wisdom to my younger brother, and the first time I’ll be able to change policy.”
Shahidi is unquestionably one of our most favorite people on the planet. We can not wait to celebrate all of her firsts to come right along with her. To check out the remaining quotes from Shahidi, visit Glamour magazine here.