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Black People Will Swim

BPWS's mission is smashing the stereotype that Black people don't swim. We aim to teach 2,020 people how to swim by December 2020!

$15,864
pledged of$40,000 goal
66
71Days Left
Fund it
Campaign Ends on October 15, 2020

Project Description

We’re #SmashingStereotypes

Black People Will Swim mission is plain and simple: smashing the stereotypes that Black people don’t swim. Through this mission, we aim to teach 2,020 black people and people of color how to swim by December 2020. Yes, you read that right. 

While Corona may have slowed down our debut, it isn’t stopping our show!

The problem

It is a well-known stereotype in the Black community that Black people don’t or simply can’t swim. This ideology was arguably created in large part to America’s racial dynamics and complex history with African-Americans. From slavery, racism, and segregation via the Jim Crow Laws not allowing Black people swimming in predominately Caucasian pools, beaches, and country clubs. 

These laws ordered business owners and public institutions to keep their Black and Caucasian clientele separate. While learning how to swim was passed down from generations in Caucasian communities, African-Americans were denied access, which resulted in swimming not being a popular activity in the Black community

Also, the numbers don’t lie. See the stats below:

The solution 

Remember our goal of teaching 2,020? In addition to swim lessons, we plan on achieving this with our acronym F.A.C.E: Fun, Awareness, Community, and Education. We’re encouraging our community to FACE their fears. 

Why a goal of 2,020?

Why not? The impact of teaching 2,020 will normalize swimming in Black communities which is what we want!

Where will the money go?

We’re all about transparency and want to make sure you are not only informed on why you should donate, but where the money will go. 

  1. Pool Facilities

Pool rental fees range from $500 to $2,500 a day! Through this funding, we can rent a pool facility without drowning in debt

  1. Dream Team

We can hire, certify, and pay people of color to keep BPWS running like a smooth sailing ship

  1. Ripple Effect

From bathing suits, swim caps to athleisure wear, we not only want to spread the message of #smashingstereotypes, but make sure you’re laced in the best gear. We want to make sure we're creating a lasting effect in our community.

  1. Pay It Forward

We want to provide scholarships to student-athletes, locally and abroad, who excel in the pool and in the classroom.

Our Founder

Hey, #SwimFam! my name is Paulana (rhymes with Moana) and I am the founder of BPWS. I am a Haitian-American (Sak pasé!), multimedia journalist, a certified swim instructor, and lifeguard with 10 years of experience. BPWS was birthed when I was taking an instructor certification course when realizing I was 1 of 2 Black instructors in a class of 8. This put into perspective that there are not enough Black people learning how to swim, but Black instructors sharing this life skill to our community!

As a multimedia journalist, my focus is telling compelling stories of women in male-dominating industries. I've written for Forbes, ESSENCE, Fast Company, and Shondaland interviewing celebrities like Queen Latifah, Lala Anthony, Venus Williams, WNBA players, and more. 

Meet Our Team

And, of course, Paulana does NOT do it alone! Meet the AMAZING and creative team that makes BPWS run like a smooth sailing ship!

Phylicia Morgan — Creative Director

Courtney Garrett — Social Media Strategist

Tequilla White — Publicist 

Lizie Mensah — Administrative Fellow

Thank you so much for supporting this movement! Let's get ready to dive right in!

The Campaign FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is Black People Will Swim only for Black people? 

No, however, we understand why one would ask this question. We teach everyone how to swim. However, our focus and specialty are empowering the Black community and smashing the stereotypes that have plagued our community for decades.

Example: Think of HBCUs. They aren't only for Black students, but empowering and educating Black students in higher education is their sole mission. 

When will I receive my reward?

Think of your purchase as a pre-order. All rewards will be fulfilled within 45 days following the end date of our IFW campaign. 

How do I join this movement and take swim lessons? 

You can go to our website and click the Book a Class option. 

Where are you offering classes?

We are currently offering classes in Brooklyn, New York!

What age group do you teach?

We serve and teach all age groups. We also teach intellectually-disabled people as well!

 

 

Julia S.
07/31/2020
Tides
$40
07/30/2020
Monetary Contribution
$10
Mandi
07/29/2020
Splash
$10
Martha Wood
07/29/2020
Tides
$40
Kendal Van Sistine
07/28/2020
Tides
$40
07/28/2020
Tsunami
$120
Marleny
07/28/2020
Tides
$40
Abby Wolf
07/28/2020
Tides
$40
07/19/2020
Tides
$40
Susan Blew
07/13/2020
Tsunami
$120
Monetary Contribution

Down for the cause!

19 Supporters
Select this reward
50.00 USD
adidas Running app 12-Month Membership

Get a one-year premium membership to the adidas Running app.

With this exclusive membership, you will have access to dynamic training plans, easy-to-read stats & tracking, weekly fitness reports, personal record badges, and premium support from the adidas Running team!

23 Left
2 Supporters
Select this reward
5.00 USD
Drip

As a thank you, we'll give you a social media shout out!

2 Supporters
Select this reward
10.00 USD
Splash

With a pledge of $10, get access to our eclectic Spotify playlist updated on a bi-weekly basis. 

6 Supporters
Select this reward
20.00 USD
Wave

A one-of-a-kind BPWS tote bag or backpack (your choice), stickers, and rewards from the previous tiers.

Delivery will commence once the campaign ends.

8 Supporters
Select this reward
40.00 USD
Tides

With a pledge of $40 or more, you will receive 1 of our 3 limited edition Black People Will Swim shirts and receive rewards from previous tiers.

Delivery will commence once the campaign ends.

19 Supporters
Select this reward
300.00 USD
Hurricane

Pledge $300 and you'll receive 8- 45-minute private lessons taught by our founder and CEO Paulana. This is a $400 value. Must live in the Greater New York area to receive the reward. 

You will also receive the previous rewards listed. Lessons will commence once the campaign ends and post-COVID-19.

9 Left
1 Supporter
Select this reward
500.00 USD
Pool Party

With this pledge, we're inviting you and 3 of your family and/or friends to a private pool party of a lifetime hosted in New York. This also includes rewards from previous tiers.

 

Date to be announced.

1 Supporter
Select this reward
2,000.00 USD
Olympic Status

For a pledge of $2,000, you will receive swim lessons for an entire year by our BPWS staff. Must live in the greater New York area. 

Lessons will commence post COVID-19.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
5,000.00 USD
Ripple Effect

With a pledge of $5,000 we'll name a scholarship after you. 

0 Supporters
Select this reward

Rewards

Monetary Contribution

Down for the cause!

19 Supporters
Select this reward
50.00 USD
adidas Running app 12-Month Membership

Get a one-year premium membership to the adidas Running app.

With this exclusive membership, you will have access to dynamic training plans, easy-to-read stats & tracking, weekly fitness reports, personal record badges, and premium support from the adidas Running team!

23 Left
2 Supporters
Select this reward
5.00 USD
Drip

As a thank you, we'll give you a social media shout out!

2 Supporters
Select this reward
10.00 USD
Splash

With a pledge of $10, get access to our eclectic Spotify playlist updated on a bi-weekly basis. 

6 Supporters
Select this reward
20.00 USD
Wave

A one-of-a-kind BPWS tote bag or backpack (your choice), stickers, and rewards from the previous tiers.

Delivery will commence once the campaign ends.

8 Supporters
Select this reward
40.00 USD
Tides

With a pledge of $40 or more, you will receive 1 of our 3 limited edition Black People Will Swim shirts and receive rewards from previous tiers.

Delivery will commence once the campaign ends.

19 Supporters
Select this reward
300.00 USD
Hurricane

Pledge $300 and you'll receive 8- 45-minute private lessons taught by our founder and CEO Paulana. This is a $400 value. Must live in the Greater New York area to receive the reward. 

You will also receive the previous rewards listed. Lessons will commence once the campaign ends and post-COVID-19.

9 Left
1 Supporter
Select this reward
500.00 USD
Pool Party

With this pledge, we're inviting you and 3 of your family and/or friends to a private pool party of a lifetime hosted in New York. This also includes rewards from previous tiers.

 

Date to be announced.

1 Supporter
Select this reward
2,000.00 USD
Olympic Status

For a pledge of $2,000, you will receive swim lessons for an entire year by our BPWS staff. Must live in the greater New York area. 

Lessons will commence post COVID-19.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
5,000.00 USD
Ripple Effect

With a pledge of $5,000 we'll name a scholarship after you. 

0 Supporters
Select this reward