I am UIC: An intellectual conversation with Yara Shahidi

Keynote Event Yara Shahidi

UIC declared February a Blacknificent month and all through the month, celebrities and other speakers have been invited to share their knowledge about their career, politics, race and education. These celebrities have confidently been able to not only impact UIC students intellectually, but they have also entertained students through their music, comedy and inspiring presence.

On Feb. 19, Yara Shahidi was invited to the UIC Forum, and students had the opportunity to not only meet a star, but to also ask questions pertaining to her career and social activism.

Yara Shahidi is an American actress, model and activist. She is best known as Zoey Johnson on the TV show “Black-ish” and its spin-off series “Grown-ish.”

The young star is known for her interest in societal politics, and she urged the audience to become more involved in midterm elections. Shahidi emphasized on the importance of midterm elections, saying, “18 X ’18 is an initiative focused on the short-term goal of midterm elections, and it is not being stressed for young or new voters. I believe this is where we can determine the people in the House and Senate.”

She emphasized that exercising our rights to elect people in the House of Representatives, as well as Senate, will establish a voice for the masses, which will also reflect on the type of laws passed.

The conversation with Shahidi was insightful for many students.

“I am really grateful that the conversation was filled with intellect,” said Yohana Ghdey, a senior majoring in public health and the president of the Undergraduate Student Government. “Yara is such a bright individual and so well-spoken.”

She emphasized that society can have a powerful voice voting during the midterm elections.

“Midterm election is when we really have the ability to elect people who are in charge of redistricting votes,” she said. “We can now vote to makes sure we have the ability to tell how it is being districted to make sure our votes actually count not only for midterm, but for the other big presidential election.”


Temitope Odedoyin
Temitope Eddna Odedoyin is majoring in English and fully concentrating in media and professional writing. Apart from writing, she has have a passion for painting, and enjoys using watercolors, oil paint, acrylic, charcoal, oil pastel. She also has an interest in creative writing and short stories. She believes that art — through writing and painting — is a way of expressing one’s feelings.


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