No matter where Zendaya Coleman ends up, she’ll always know where she started. The former Disney star, 18, is going back to her roots in honor of Immigrant Heritage Month in June, and she hopes to inspire others to do the same.
To that end, Coleman partnered with Welcome.us to film a PSA about her family history. In the video — released on Tuesday, June 9 — she sits down with her parents, mom Claire Stoermer and dad Kazembe Ajamu, to dig into their family tree, which has branches in Germany and Africa.
“My mother’s proud of where she’s from, and her history, and her past, and same with my dad,” Coleman says in the clip. “I have roots in Africa. Like, I am from Africa as well as from Germany, and I am very proud of that.”
That pride is evident in her full birth name, Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman, which incorporates elements from each part of her heritage.
“For me, I get a mixture of all the worlds…” she explains in the video. “I have my African first name, I have a middle name that is [my mom’s] middle name, which is French, but we did it African spelling, so it’s literally me in a name. And then you have Stoermer, and then you have Coleman. I literally have, like, a timeline in history in my name.”
The singer-actress — who most recently appeared in pal Taylor Swift’s star-studded music video for the song “Bad Blood” — has always known who she is and where she comes from. But not everyone is so lucky.
“I just want young people to embrace where they come from, be proud of it and share their family’s history,” the Shake It Up star tells Us Weekly exclusively. “This country was built on beautiful stories of immigrant heritage …I’m so thankful to have done this with Welcome.us and my family!”
Watch the video above to find out more about Zendaya’s family history!
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