February 8, 2024

Pool Safely is Spotlighting Its Collaborator, Black Women Who

Pool Safely sat down with collaborator Tanya Walker, CEO and Founder of Black Women Who, to discuss how the organization is fostering water safety education and awareness among Black and Brown women and children, who face disproportionately high drowning rates. Black Women Who empowers, educates, and inspires women of color, and future generations, with the knowledge and skills to engage in outdoor activities safely.

How does Black Women Who teach water safety to its members?

Black Women Who is dedicated to promoting water safety by ensuring that all participants wear a life jacket during water-related events. Additionally, we have established collaborations with national swim organizations to provide swimming lessons at a discounted rate, and the National Safe Boating Council provides us with life jackets and water safety informational pamphlets. Our mission is to empower individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to stay safer in and around water.

Why is it important for Black Women Who to teach Black women and children the ability to swim?

It is of utmost importance to impart the necessary knowledge of this life-preserving skill as it can avert fatal outcomes. This is an essential aspect that demands our attention, as it could be the difference between life and death.

What work do you think needs to be done to combat the disproportionately high drowning rates for Black Americans?

This is a great question. I believe starting water safety education while a child is in grade school. Teach children the importance of water safety early and take the fear out of swimming and water.

What can Black Women do to ensure they and their families learn how to swim?

Black Women Who has established collaborations with several swimming organizations to facilitate the removal of barriers and reduce the likelihood of loss of life. These organizations provide swimming lessons at a discounted rate. The Black Women Who Scholarship Fund is also available to assist with the cost of swimming lessons. Regardless of socioeconomic background, all members can take advantage of this opportunity.

Black Women Who is committed to fostering empowerment, education, and awareness among Black and Brown women and children through our water events. During the warmer seasons, the Black Women Who team hosts kayaking events for its members, kids and interested organizations at Lake Austin, Town Lake, Lake Conrow, White Rock Lake, and more. Our organization recognizes the significance of acquiring swimming skills and comprehending water safety, which are essential for enjoyable experiences in aquatic environments.

This year, we had a Feel Confident in Your Life – jacket event at Bartholomew Pool in Austin and gave away over 70 life jackets to the community. Additionally, we discussed the importance of wearing a life jacket and how to properly wear one. We partnered with the City of Austin Aquatic Department to successfully host this event.

What does your Pool Safely collaboration mean to you?

Collaborating with Pool Safely means I can effectively educate a broad range of members on the importance of pool and water safety instead of a small group of members. Furthermore, this presents an opportunity for members who do not know how to swim to learn this vital life skill.

For more information, you can visit the organization’s Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/blkwomenwho.