Skip To Content
Spelman Students

Our Stories

Karan Kendrick Shares the Importance of Paying It Forward

December 2016

Spelman Alumna Karan KendrickBorn and raised in Fort Valley, Georgia, Karan Kendrick, C'98, is an accomplished actress and entrepreneur who believes in the importance of paying it forward and providing opportunities for students who are passionate about the arts.
Kendrick, who graduated from Spelman College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama and Dance, went on to earn an MBA in Management from Wesleyan College.

Kendrick has worked tirelessly for the past decade to provide students in her beloved hometown in Georgia, and more recently in her new home in Burbank, California with an opportunity to build character, discipline, and an eternal passion for the arts. With her upcoming Girls Empowerment Tour in support of the highly anticipated "Hidden Figures" film -- she's taking her show on the road.

Humble Beginnings Pave the Way for Bright Future

Kendrick began her acting career when she was very young. From preschool and home performances to ballet, Kendrick always showcased her dancing, singing and acting skills. One of her first professional screen roles was as Atala, the head trainer in The Hunger Games.

Spelman alumna Karan KendrickHer extensive resume includes television, film and theater. Some of her film credits include: "The Wronged Man," "Army Wives," Tyler Perry's "Madea Goes to Jail," and "Greenleaf." On stage, she has appeared in "Breath and Imagination" and "For colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf."  Her latest role is in the upcoming film "Hidden Figures" in which she plays the younger version of Joylette Coleman, mother to Katharine Johnson. Check out our very own "Hidden Figures" experience here at Spelman.

The Kendrick Academy Trains Future Stars

Although Hollywood keeps her busy, Kendrick also takes time out to encourage students who are passionate about the arts. As the owner and director of The Kendrick Academy in Fort Valley, she teaches drama, theater and dance. The Academy is an arts organization that, according to its website, “Serves to enrich the lives of its students and the community that we serve, through the fine and performing arts.”

Girls Empowerment Tour Hits the Road

p137With her upcoming role in the film "Hidden Figures," Kendrick has created a Girls Empowerment Tour (#GetIt) which began in December 2016. According to her website, the tour will be an opportunity "To join Karan in a discussion on how to choose excellence at every step on their journey, and how that choice can change the world." Girls ages 8-12 years old who are chosen to participate in the program will receive a complimentary copy of the book “Hidden Figures” by Margot Lee Shetterly, and round out the day by attending a VIP screening of the film with the actress as well."


Kendrick Shares Why It's Important to Pay It Forward

Throughout her career, Kendrick has created many opportunities for students to advance in the arts. In an interview at the Spelman LEADS Conference in 2013, Kendrick shares the importance of paying it forward.

Kendrick is constantly educating, empowering and changing the world as a dynamic and multi-faceted Spelman woman. For more information about Kendrick and her latest projects, please check out her website.


Submit Your Story

We want to hear from you. Briefly tell us about your Spelman achievements. If more information is needed, we will contact you.

Please Note: We appreciate your contribution, but submission of your information does not guarantee you will be featured in Our Stories.
Enter your full name.
For example, C'2020
Limit 500 characters. HTML tags are not allowed. Tell us a little about yourself and why you would like to be profiled in Our Stories.
* Photo
Please provide a large, quality photo.
Be sure the video is marked as Public.
How Did You Hear About Our Stories? (check all that apply)

* Accept Terms