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Spelman Students Named to OceanX’s Young Explorers Program

June 2023


Kennedy Dunning

Three Spelman College documentary film majors have been named to OceanX’s Young Explorers Program 2023: Kennedy Dunning, C’2023; Kendi King, C’2024; and Amira Barrett, C’2025. The participants will learn from world-class ocean scientists about the ocean genome, the tools and trades of ocean exploration, media and science communication, and leadership in the field of exploration.

When the global ocean exploration nonprofit announced its historic partnership with Spelman earlier this year, its efforts to increase diversity in STEM education expanded. OceanX will now serve as a bridge across existing gaps in the marine sciences by equipping Spelman students and faculty with resources and opportunities across four core areas — the Young Explorers program, employment opportunities, research and curriculum development, and partnership building.

After completing a rigorous application process — including over 300 applicants with 15 available spots in the 2023 program — Dunning recalls how she would use this experience to inspire her career as an artist.

Kendi King “Being surrounded by such established individuals is so reassuring as an artist, and especially as a young Black creative,” explained Dunning. “It lets me know someone believes in me and my ideas. It also makes me feel secure as a recent college grad…I will leave the expedition feeling electric with inspiration as I begin my career.”

King hopes this program will influence her artistry as a filmmaker.

“I hope to use this experience to further inform the stories I choose to tell through my chosen medium, film,” she said. “Science and art are more similar than one might think — both being investigations of life and the conditions of living on this planet. I hope the Young Explorers Program will further expose these intersections and allow me to immerse myself in an entirely new environment.”

Amira Barrett

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