Yara Shahidi was one of many honored at the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Respect Awards this past weekend. The Grown-ish star brought the crowd to her feet during her acceptance speed.
Shahidi received the Gamechanger Award. GLSEN is focused on the youth and places a special emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math. All four of the subjects are topics that Yara loves, which may partially explain why the young star was so passionate in her speech.
“We should all feel deserved and supported in expressing our right to being our whole selves, limited by nothing regardless of ethnicity, gender, identity, sexuality, ability, religion or any other identity that we choose,” Shahidi told attendees. “More than that,” she continued, “the common spaces we must maneuver through should be safe spaces in which our presence and existence are inherently valued.”
Yara Shahidi also addressed the notion of division that has, unfortunately, become a staple in the United States. “We must not separate ourselves from each community,” the Grown-ish star admonished. “We must be one.”
Yara Shahidi got her breakthrough role as a member of the Johnson family on the hist series Black-ish. She has since gone on to have a series of her own and has begun her studies as a Freshman at Harvard University. Stay tuned for more young stars news!
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