African American Studies | Health and Physical Education | Leisure Studies | Politics and Social Change | Race and Ethnicity | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Sports Sciences | Sports Studies


Globally, and in the United States, drowning is considered a “neglected public health threat” (WHO, 2014b). Reports have shown that there are groups of people in certain communities who are at greater risk. African Americans, as a group, have a drowning death rate 9% higher than that of the overall population, with the greatest disparity being among African American youth (Gilchrist & Parker, 2014). While many national programs and organizations present water safety awareness and drowning prevention efforts within communities, very few offer multi-sectorial collaborative efforts (WHO, 2017a) among culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) aquatic stakeholders designed to empower, promote, and support water safety awareness in communities. Inspired by evidence-based research, derived from a national water safety and drowning prevention campaign, the purpose of this article is to answer a call to action by the World Health Organization (2017a) to approach water safety education through a social justice lens to inform programming and collaborative partnerships.