At ELLE’s 25th Women in Hollywood celebration held this Monday, Yara Shahidi was among those honored. At only 18 years old, Yara is the star of her own sitcom as well as an outspoken activist. It was no surprise that she chose to dedicate her speech to empowering others. Yara spoke about the importance of storytelling and how storytellers have one of the most important roles in society. She stressed the importance of diverse representation in all aspects of storytelling, whether history or fiction, as the place where people can first begin to see themselves and identify with those stories. Shahidi concluded, “no matter what movement you decide to associate with, we are going to fight for you as a full human. Because you should be allowed the space to enter as a full, whole person.”
Who is the first character or historical figure you identified with? At what age did you associate yourself with this person?
Here’s a recap of the evening’s highlights.
Draft a list of your favorite female role models that you most identify with and the lessons they taught you. Pass it on to a younger relative or friend who might benefit from seeing someone like them.