Volume 14, Number 2 (June 2023) Diversity in Aquatics Third Special Issue

Co-Creating Equitable Aquatic Spaces: Becoming a JEDI through Collective Action

About the Special Issue

The theme of this special issue is “Co-Creating Equitable Aquatic Spaces: Becoming a JEDI through Collective Action.” It highlights the need to continue the work and the ongoing quest for social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in aquatics. Recreational aquatic sites have been the setting for the turmoil of social justice, water safety, and public health not only in the past, but in our present times (Beale, Quan, Bennett, and Fielding, 2020). With the continuation of professional practices and policies in the field of aquatics, continuing to reflect this lack of responsiveness to the specific needs of diverse populations, there has never been a more relevant time to help engage the efforts of individuals, communities, organizations, and nations being made to address the gaps, and to strengthen, diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in the field of aquatics.

At Diversity in Aquatics (DIA), we approach diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work through a Social Justice (SJDEI) lens of collective action, which challenges inequality directly by raising consciousness and focusing on improving conditions for historically marginalized, Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), and/or under-represented groups. This approach is grounded in the understanding that we all need knowledge, weathering, and coping skills to reduce the public health crisis of racism that impacts us all. Research has shown that research and education via the lens of DEI tends to have a three-prong focus with 1) DEI focus on reducing prejudice; 2) DEI advocating collective action; or 3) DEI focus on changing the attitudes and behaviors of a dominant group. Our approach views DEI work through collective action via a multi-sectoral lens which is unique when educating about the importance of SJEDI work.

Boyer (1997) argued that scholarly research ought to enhance one’s ability to create new and valuable information that will be beneficial in one’s field based upon the life patterns of individuals and their passions. Therefore, as readers, we invite you to embrace Boyer’s model of the scholarships of integration and application as you read. In this special issue, we have curated and provided a platform to share findings from original empirical research (including quantitative, qualitative, intervention, or community-based studies), theoretical papers, educational articles, research notes, and voices from the field via a "collective action lens." Our aim is to help the aquatics community gain a deeper understanding and perspective about the challenges, success stories, and opportunities related to becoming a “JEDI” of social justice and advocate in the field of aquatics, water safety, and drowning prevention. We hope that these articles will inspire and inform our collective efforts to promote water safety and increase opportunities in aquatics for all.

Front Matter


Third Diversity in Aquatics Special Issue
Angela K. Beale-Tawfeeq, Steven N. Waller Ph.D., and Tiffany M. Quash PhD

Research Articles

Research Note


“POOL: A Social History of Segregation Exhibition” Exploring Social Justice Through the Lens of Water Safety Awareness and Art-based Education
Angela K. Beale-Tawfeeq Ph.D., MPH; Tiffany Monique Quash Ph.D.; Knolan Rawlins Ph.D.; Victoria Prizzia; and Miriam Lynch Ph.D.

Education Articles


Closing Racial Disparity by Dismantling Constructs of Fear - A Practical Methodology for Learning to Swim
Dane W. Wolfrom, Christine L. Snellgrove, Marisol A. Rivera, Keisha Laguer Vandessppooll, and Emily D. Feliciano


Blue-Mindfulness Training: A Story of Restorative Justice Decolonizing and Re-indigenizing Communal Relationships with Water
Thaddeus Gamory; Miriam Lynch Ph.D.; A. Udaya Thomas; and Angela K. Beale-Tawfeeq Ph.D., MPH

IJARE cover