Yara Shahidi believes women should own their narratives.
While speaking at the United State of Women Summit, she stated, “Rather than inheriting a broken system, and feeling like we have to fit into that, we have the opportunity to shape it.”
The actress and activist joined Kamala Harris and Brittany Packett as panelists for the 2018 summit. She said she’s learned a lot from her “Grown-ish” character about respecting all opinions.
“What Zoey represents is this idea that all of our experiences are valid,” she explained. “That been the beautiful part of ‘Grown-ish’ is having a show that, even if you don’t agree with what she’s doing, even if she doesn’t come to the necessary — the right conclusions — there’s this idea that we recognize her complexity. And it’s told through her lens, so there’s a certain power in being able to hear an entire show through a girl’s lens.”
Shahidi encourages others to embrace diversity within their individual communities and to resist the urge to oversimplify people’s backgrounds, circumstances, and nuances.
She also said that one way for young people to gain control of their narratives is to vote. As a recent 18-year-old, she launched the Eighteen X 18 campaign with NowThis to encourage more young adults to get engaged in the political process.