"The Necessity of Encouragement"
I had the opportunity to attend the 2nd Annual Diversity in Aquatics Convention in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Don’t let the seemingly grand location fool you, this trip was as many trips to a convention can get- spent in a cold room in uncomfortable chairs with inappropriate lighting (ours was too low). That being said, knowledge, encouragement, ideas, and energy came out of the weekend which made the necessity of wearing pants and bringing a jacket during a South Florida summer worth it.
When I first took the job at USA Swimming, I made it a point to try to connect with other Diversity and Inclusion professionals in the aquatics industry. In my search for like-minded individuals I came across the Diversity in Aquatics website and network, which I later found out to be the brainchild of our very own Diversity Consultant, Shaun Anderson, who co-founded the site as well as the program behind it.
From my time this weekend, I realized that Diversity in Aquatics Program (DAP) was much more than I initially believe it to be. In my mind, Diversity in Aquatics as a website was a social network for those interested in diversifying and providing more inclusion to the sport of swimming. I admit I didn’t really log in often and my engagement with others on the site was limited. While the network does serve that purpose, it took this convention to be enlightened to all the work the DAP has done on behalf of the goal of greater diversity and inclusion. To name a few impressive statistics, DAP is the only organization in the world that has provided learn to swim and aquatics services on every inhabited continent and it is the only non-profit to have support of two major National Governing Bodies (USA Swimming & USA Triathlon)...
Read more from Rhonda Marable at: Diversityinaquatics.com