Yara Sayeh Shahidi (Persian: یارا سایه شهیدی, Persian pronunciation: [jɑːɾɑː sɑːje ʃæhiːdiː]) (born February 10, 2000) is an Iranian-American actress and model, best known for playing Zoey on the sitcom Black-ish.
Shahidi was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to a mixed African-American and Native Choctaw mother, Keri Salter Shahidi, and an Iranian-American father, Afshin Shahidi. Her father is a photographer. The family moved to California for Afshin's work, when Yara was 4. She is the older sister of child actor and model Sayeed Shahidi and a second cousin to rapper Nas. Keri Shahidi in a 2016 interview with Star Tribune claimed that the name Yara translates to "someone who is close to your heart" in Persian.
She began her career when she was 6 years old, appearing in television and print advertisements for companies such as McDonald's, Ralph Lauren, Target, GapKids, Disney, Guess Kids and The Children's Place. She frequently worked with her mother and younger brother in various print and broadcast campaigns.
Shahidi made her theatrical debut in 2009, starring opposite Eddie Murphy in Paramount Pictures' Imagine That, for which she received a Young Artist Award nomination for the best performance in a feature film category.
In September 2014, Shahidi starred in ABC's prime-time comedy Black-ish as 14-year-old Zoey Johnson. In December 2014 she won an NAACP Image Award in the category of 'Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy'.
In 2016, she signed to model with New York's Women Management modeling agency, in hopes of providing a platform to see more women of color in diverse roles.