Yara Shahidi’s Short Essay on Why 2020 Is the Year for Change Is a Must Read

Freeform/Troy Harvey

Actor and activist Yara Shahidi explains that Gen Z’s discomfort in the world is a sign of hope for change to come in a short essay for Porter Magazine.

In her essay, Shahidi reflects on what it’s like to be 20 in 2020 and provides her perspective on the recent outpouring of human rights activism. Shahidi explains that being born in 2000 meant growing up alongside technology. With technology integrated into every aspect of life, Gen Z has greater access than other generations to see the injustices in the world and to share their opinions. 

“I feel as though one of the largest impacts technology has made on my life is the sense of global community developed from being able to be in conversation with my peers, regardless of geography,” wrote Shahidi. 

The abundance of free-flowing information opened up the eyes of Gen Z, making them feel somewhat estranged from the world. Shahidi explains that this uncomfortable feeling is an indicator of hope because it means that Gen Z will fight to make this world inclusive and feel like home.  

“Rather than being complacent with the world we’ve inherited, we have taken on the project of constructing a new home, built on the foundation of inclusivity,” wrote Shahidi.

Now that Shahidi is 20 years old and others in Gen Z are adults as well, a generation unhappy with the lack of equality in the world can now begin to initiate change. 

“I eagerly await the efforts of our compound voices and I look forward to the home we build,” wrote Shahidi. “A home where we lose the rhetoric of coming together in spite of our differences, but we intentionally unite because of them. A home that is identity-celebratory and dedicated to the ever-evolving projects of equity. For who are we if not each other?”

Read Shahidi’s full essay here