Jul 27, 2021 1 min, 24 secs

Two years ago, Paulana Lamonier, 30, tweeted about wanting to teach 30 Black people to swim that summer. .

"My goal is to teach 30 black people how to swim this summer and I'm trying to come up with a hashtag for this campaign.

Last March, she created Black People Will Swim to provide swimming education to Black families and eradicate the idea that Black people simply don’t swim.

The organization's goal is to teach more than 2,000 people over the coming years about of swimming through low-cost swimming courses for children and adults in New York.

Lamonier said the message of Black People Will Swim lies in the acronym, F.A.C.E — Fun, Awareness, Community, Education. .

The education portion ranges from understanding the purpose behind Black People Will Swim to even learning how to properly wear a swim cap over natural hair.

Lack of awareness stems from a lengthy history of racism as segregation kept Black people out of swimming pools that were located in wealthier, white neighborhoods.

“I receive tons of emails, saying 'Hi, my daughter’s the only Black girl on her swim team,'" she said

Some other objectives of Black People Will Swim include certifying more Black instructors and developing a swim cap more suited to accommodate different Black hair types

with different chapters so Black families can feel safe in knowing their children can swim, while also ensuring more Black people get into aquatic sports. 

“For now, we’re starting small,” she said. “But we intend to keep the mission going and give opportunities so that Black people can learn how to swim, and see if you can run a business of Black-owned business in a predominantly white sport.” 

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