It all started when...
In 2013, while at the National Association of Black Scuba Divers Association Annual Summit, a group of women got together to discuss the lack of representation of African American women in the Diving World, Marine Sciences and Oceanographic studies, and scientific diving. It came down to two common themes, "hair" and negative cultural narratives about swimming. They thought, "we can address the hair fear issue.. that's easy; the challenge would be changing "the narrative."
Jeff Wiltse, author of Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in America, puts it, “It is because of discrimination and segregation that swimming never became a part of African-American recreational culture.” The lack of access to swimming pools and public beaches meant that many African Americans were denied the opportunity to learn how to swim; and intergenerational fear of the water stops their descendants from learning now.
Changing the Narrative
Dr. Winrow (Nevada) is a Johns Hopkins School of Medicine-trained Pediatric Neuropsychologist and has served as a clinical practitioner, and a Professor and administrator in higher education for over a decade in roles as Dean of a School and Senior Executive Vice President. She has served as a Board of Trustee of two HBCUs and currently serves as a member of the Fulbright Scholars Review Board and the Board of Examiners for Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, our nation's highest honor that is bestowed by the President of the United States. Nevada is the alumna of several institutions that include Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Howard University, and Lincoln University. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and is member-affiliated with many professional organizations. With an astrological sign of Pisces, she was destined to love the water. Nevada is a PADI Master Scuba Diver, a member of the National Association of Black Scuba Divers (NABS) and an associate member of the Women's Diving Hall of Fame and the American Academy of Underwater Sciences.
Taylor is a Prion Research Associate at UC-San Diego. She is a graduate of Clemson University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology. Taylor is an avid swimmer and an active advocate for children and animals. Taylor belongs to several professional organizations, is a member of the National Association of Black Scuba Divers and a PADI certified Open-Water diver.