Black Kids Swim is a Maryland based 501(c)3 organization dedicated to increasing Black participation in competitive swimming. Our work is motivated by a commitment to creating and protecting excellence in Black children.
The simplest way to support Black Kids Swim is to make an online gift through this website (PayPal button on this page.) Monthly contributions support our mission driven work year-round and ensure we can continue to do the work of prioritizing our children. To set up a recurring donation, select the ‘monthly’ option on our PayPal donate page.
Swimming is a team sport! Gather your friends and family to increase Black participation in competitive swimming. Using the Paypal Money Pool tool, start a fundraiser to benefit Black Kids Swim.
Thanks to the generous support of partner organizations, we are changing the face of competitive swimming. Many corporations match employee donations to Black Kids Swim, easily doubling your contribution to increasing access to swim proficiency for Black children.
The Goree Project is BKS’ latest programmatic effort to create and protect excellence in Black children. To diversify the sport, we are creating a web series that showcases Black swimmers excelling in open water swimming. This project is an historic opportunity to strengthen ties, through sports diplomacy, between African Americans and Senegalese by fostering mutual understanding. Viewers will follow the journey of two Black swimmers preparing physically, mentally and culturally for this experience. In the process, they will learn about both American and Senegalese culture and begin to break down the stereotypes that keep us apart. The web series follows the journey of two former Howard University swim team captains as they prepare for their first trip to Africa and engage in a 3.5 open water swim competition. The annual open water swim from Dakar to Goree is historic as it retraces the same route Africans swam to escape the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.
The TABONO Competitive Swim Skills Clinic is the only Afro-cultural swim clinic (make this a hyperlink to YouTube video). Swimmers who want to reach the elite level must have access to instruction on proper technique, nutrition, dryland training, and self-motivation. The TABONO clinic was developed by the Black swim community to ensure young swimmers who show promise in the sport are prepared for success. Parents attend panel discussions led by parents of elite Black swimmers, learn about proper nutrition for swimmers, and take part in dryland workshops alongside their kids. Swimmers receive one-on-one coaching to improve their stroke technique, starts, and turns, and are also trained in self-motivation techniques rooted in the African American experience. Parents have the rare opportunity to network with other African American swim parents and speak to collegiate swimmers and coaches. Swimmers are surrounded by African Americans who are equally passionate about excelling as competitive swimmers.
BKS’ summer swim team scholarship program has made a significant impact in helping Black children transition from learn to swim programs to competitive swim teams. Every Summer, Black Kids Swim awards summer swim team scholarships to kids who write the most inspiring essays describing why they would like to join a summer swim team. Additionally, we run essay contests throughout the year to encourage academic excellence. Essay contest winners receive a collection of prizes including BKS products, books written by elite Black swimmers, and access to professional level training.
BKS has carefully created a large amount of content (videos, presentations, articles, social media posts) that is changing the way Black children think about competitive swimming. Through the Black Kids Swim blog and YouTube channel, we fearlessly educate, lovingly inspire, and tirelessly create on behalf of Black children. Sharing these resources widely directly supports our mission.
As the world’s #1 resource for Black swimmers, BKS is constantly advocating for increased access and opportunity for Black competitive swimmers. We do this through testifying during government hearings, publishing information on our blogs and social media platforms, and educating our community. In 2019, Black Kids Swim surveyed 140 parents of Black swimmers (Black Kids Swim Survey: Improving the Competitive Swim Experience for Black Swimmers) to better understand their desires and fears as it relates to “learn to swim programs”, diversity in swimming, and competitive swim teams. Using insight gained from this survey, we provide consulting services to aquatics facilities, learn to swim programs, and competitive teams who need assistance in diversifying their membership and creating safe spaces for African American swimmers. Additionally, our open-to-the-public blog shares suggested activities for concerned individuals who want to initiate positive change.
Black Kids Swim was founded to create more Black competitive swimmers. To accomplish our goal we must first encourage more Black people to swim. Safe Kids Worldwide, a nonprofit organization working to help families and communities keep kids safe from injuries, invited Black Kids Swim to lead a webinar for aquatics professionals seeking to increase African American participation in their programs. The resulting power point presentation and webinar guides viewers through the historical relationship between African Americans and the sport of swimming and offers guidance and strategies on how to attract African American participants to aquatics programs. BKS made this presentation available to the public for supporters and volunteers to use when addressing school, church, community center, or volunteer audiences to inspire them to register for swim lessons and join swim teams. BKS continues to develop educational resources to help aquatics facilities, teams, and organizations diversify their audiences.
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We encourage you to give as much, or as little, as you’d like. ALL donations are greatly appreciated.