From growing up in South Carolina, exploring the creeks and their inhabitants near her home with her brother, to diving in Florida, and now, starting her own organization in Washington, Ebony Wellborn has been well immersed in the natural world since childhood. Throughout college, Ebony was surrounded by people of color but noticed a significant disparity between her community and those in the marine field with her, an observation that would go on to inform her career path moving forward.
After moving to Seattle and meeting newfound friend Savannah Smith through shared work at Earthcorps, the pair started Sea Potential, an organization that “creates a full cycle of BIPOC representation in maritime.” They promote youth engagement through curriculum and programming that highlights BIPOC perspectives and acknowledges the individual and generational trauma that could be related to marine spaces for BIPOC youth. In addition to this, they work with maritime businesses—a predominantly white male-dominated field—on their workplace culture to help ensure inclusivity, making sure that everyone has the tools to navigate different perspectives.
Ebony believes that salmon and orca are a part of our being; without salmon and orca, our ecosystems wouldn’t be what they are. While acknowledging that most know about orca and salmon, she thinks that having experiences that connect one’s heart to these populations is vital to understanding how important they are; understanding how they move through life and space, allowing more people to make better decisions that will impact both orca and salmon. Getting to know these species on a more personal level.