Yara Sayeh Shahidi is an American actress, model and activist. She gained recognition for her starring role as Zoey Johnson on the sitcom Black-ish and its spin-off series Grown-ish . Her film credits include Imagine That and Smallfoot . A student at Harvard University, Shahidi has been noted for her activism advocating for female and racial equality and political awareness.Early lifeYara Shahidi was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to an Iranian American father, Afshin Shahidi, a photographer, and to mother Keri Salter Shahidi, who is African American and Choctaw heritage 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 they have a younger brother, Ehsan.