Contact: Andi Martin, Marketing and Public Relations Manager, 334-230-2680

August 15, 2019

Africatown Launches New Swim and Scuba Program, Youth Set Sights on the Sea

(Montgomery, AL) On Friday, August 16, 2019 at 4:00pm, community organizers, esteemed professionals of the scuba diving community, and participating students will gather at Kidd Park in Africatown (Mobile, AL) for a press conference to officially launch the Africatown Swim to Scuba Diving Program.

In partnership with Diving With a Purpose, the National Association of Black Scuba Divers, Africatown youth have been taking the first steps on their journey towards becoming certified scuba divers.

The program not only emphasizes life skills that lend themselves to academic studies, but also creates career paths for students, enabling them to participate in the search and guardianship of their own legacy.

“The Africatown Swim to Scuba Diving Program's intent is to incentive Africatown youth to become comfortable and proficient on the surface and under the water, to learn life skills, and expose them to the marine sciences and other educational and career opportunities related to the sport of scuba diving,” said Kamau Sadiki, President of the National Association of Black Scuba Divers and Lead Instructor for Diving with A Purpose. “Additionally, the program hopes to build capacity in the Clotilda descendant community by training youth and adults to be stewards and take ownership of their maritime cultural heritage resources.”

Anderson Flen, President of the Mobile County Training School Alumni Association, said, “The promise by Kamau Sadiki has brought a renewed sense of hope and pride for a community too often forgotten and unfairly labeled. I know the swim program has already raised the self-esteem and abilities of certain youth to feel and function better in the swim environment.”

Scheduled to appear at the event are Reverend Chris Williams; Alabama State Senator Vivian Davis Figures; Kamau Sadiki; Clara Nobles, Alabama Historical Commission Assistant Executive Director; Anderson Flen; and other National Association of Black Scuba Divers dive instructors; Leon Hammonds, Sr. (Dive Club -Atlantic Rangers of Philadelphia, PA), Jimi Mack (Dive Club - Black Coral Divers of Dallas, TX), Jay Haigler and Al Dobbins (Dive Club - Underwater Adventure Seekers of Washington D.C.), and Courtlandt Butts (Dive Club - Southern SeaSequeatrians of Atlanta, GA).

On Saturday, August 17, student participants and instructors will host swim and scuba demonstrations from 9am to 1pm at the Dearborn Y.M.C.A. in Mobile. The community wishes to extend special appreciation to Gulf Coast Divers in Mobile, AL and Underwater Works in Fairhope, AL for donating scuba equipment for the training events over the weekend.

Please join us for the press conference on Friday, August 16, beginning at 4:00pm at Kidd Park, located at 800 East St, Mobile, AL. Interviews to follow. Additional release information will be available at event.



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