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Making Our Own Waves

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Smashing Stereotypes

Black People Will Swim's sole mission is simple: It's smashing the stereotype that Black people don’t swim. We aim to do this through several ways by using the acronym F.A.C.E. — fun, awareness, community, and education — and encouraging our community to (italicize) face (italicize) their fears.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is Black People Will Swim only for Black people?
    At Black People Will Swim, lessons are open to everyone but we are committed to empowering the Black community and smashing the stereotypes that have had long-lasting ripple effects on our community for decades.
  • How many classes are in a session?
    There are 6 classes in each session (package).
  • Do you plan on expanding to other cities?
    At this time, we are focusing on the New York location (York College in Jamaica, Queens, New York City | 94-20 Guy R Brewer Blvd., Jamaica, NY 11451). Sign up for email updates to be notified when we come to your city by Making the Promise on our website:
  • Are you currently accepting donations? How can I donate?
    First, thank you so much for your support! Yes, we are always accepting donations. You can donate to our by heading to our donation page.
  • I am based outside of New York. Should I sign up for swim lessons?
    Not at this time. We are focusing on the New York location. (York College in Jamaica, Queens, New York City | 94-20 Guy R Brewer Blvd., Jamaica, NY 11451) We encourage everyone outside of New York to Make The Promise so that you'll learn how to swim. We advise that you do not purchase a class at this time unless you have your own method of transportation to our location.
  • Do you offer make-ups for missed swim lessons?
    Yes, due to the necessary maintenance of student to instructor ratio and class capacity, each student is allowed one makeup class per session. In the event a student misses more than 1 class, they can request for a makeup class in the form of a token. However, no guarantees the request will be approved.
  • Do I get a discount if I refer someone else?
    No, currently we do not provide referral incentive.
  • How can I support the BPWS mission and purpose?
    There are a number of ways you can support us: Join the #SwimFam by following us on our social media platforms and signing up for our newsletter at the bottom of the homepage. Make the promise— Pledge your commitment to learning how to swim. Donation — You can donate by clicking here.
  • I would like to be a swim instructor. How can I join the Black People Will Swim team as an instructor?
    That is awesome that you want to join our #SwimFam! We’re always looking for certified water safety instructors. Email your resume and certifications to our Aquatics Director at In order to join the BPWS team, all instructors and team members will undergo a background check.
  • How can I get involved?
    You can join the #SwimFam by making the promise that you'll learn how to swim here:
  • Do we teach special needs kids?
    Yes, we do! We offer a number of classes where you can decide if you'd like to go private lessons or a group class. You can click here to get started:
  • Do we have classes starting up soon?
    Our Spring Program is coming up soon. Stay tuned for information on our next class schedule.
  • What is “Black People Will Swim’s” refund policy?
    We do not give a refund once the student is enrolled, however we do provide the option to schedule a make-up or transfer the lessons to someone else.
  • Where do I go if I have an issue?
    If there is an issue that you are having with our website, classes or general questions not answered on our website you can reach out to us at and expect a response within the next 24-48 hours.
  • What are your prices?
    We offer a number of classes to help our community F.A.C.E. their fears. For our 6-week swim program, the prices are the following: Classes for ages 3-17 are $160-$200. Adult classes are $210-$375.
  • Where are you offering classes?
    We are currently offering classes at CUNY York College Health and Physical Education Building.
  • What age groups do you teach?
    We teach all age groups and have certified instructors available for students with intellectual disabilities as well.
  • What should I bring to swim class?
    You must bring a towel, googles, swim suit, lock, and swim cap. We also sell these items at the physical location, which you will have an opportunity to purchase before the start of your lesson.
  • What are your class ratios?
    Our class ratios are 1 instructor to 6 students.
  • What if I miss a class? Will I receive a refund?
    At this time, we do not offer refunds. As an alternative, we offer make-up classes during the last week of classes. Please let us know what day and time you'd like to take your make-up class and we will try our best to assist.
  • I was exposed to COVID-19. What should I do?
    We are so sorry that you have contracted COVID-19! Please get better. Your health is our number one priority. Due to our no-refund policy, we can only issue a credit or make-up class to be fulfilled at another time. When we relaunch our swim program in the near future, please email us so we can schedule your make-up classes at
  • Do you have a Brooklyn location?
    Unfortunately, not at this time! However, circumstances may change in a few months. If you haven't yet, Make the Promise on our website that you'll learn how to swim with us and stay updated with latest developments at BPWS.
  • Do you offer private lessons?
    Yes, we offer private lessons for all ages for clients who have access to a pool. This can be at your home or a local gym facility that will allow us to offer you private lessons. Click here to get started.
  • What happens if it rains?
    If it rains, we will offer a make-up class on the final week of class.
  • Who can learn how to swim?
    We teach ages 3 to 85 years old. Head over to Make the Promise today so that you can be notified when our next class schedule is available.
  • How many weeks are swim classes?
    Our swim classes are for 6 weeks, which is 1 class per week. You can also choose how frequent you want your classes based on the package you purchase.
  • How long are swim lessons?
    All swim lessons are 50 minutes with the exception of our Seahorse class for ages 3-6 are 40 minutes.
  • How will I receive updates about my classes?
    To receive updates about your swim class, enroll to receive email and/or text message notifications in the iClassPro portal. This will allow you to receive updates about class changes, cancellations, and more. If you choose to opt out of both options, you will not be notified regarding class updates.
  • What happens if class is cancelled?
    If a class is cancelled, you will be notified through email and/or text message if you have opted in to recieve notifications during enrollment.
  • How do I change the date and time of my lessons?
    ou can change the time and date of your lessons as long as there is availability. Email us at to submit your request.
  • Where can I share about my experience?
    At the end of each 6-week session, every student will receive a survey to complete.
  • Can I transfer my classes to someone else?
    Yes, you are allowed to transfer classes to someone else as long as there are classes to be transferred. You must email for approval first.
  • Is there a lateness policy?
    We are now implementing a lateness policy to respect the other students and instructor in that class. If you are more than 5 minutes late, you are no longer allowed admission into your class and will have to email our support team for your make-up class. Keep in mind, students are permitted 1 make-up class per session.
  • When will classes start?
    Classes will resume Spring 2024.
  • How can I schedule my classes?
    We are now using iClassPro! Video tutorial coming soon!
  • I would like to make-up a class.
    Great! Please shoot us an email on what day, time, and the name of the class you'd like to book based on availability. If there is availability, you will receive a confirmation email from us.
  • Do we provide swim caps?
    Yes, we sell Black People Will Swim branded swim caps that are available on campus.
  • How do I register for classes?
    Thank you for your interest in our program. Registration for classes is based on the student's age and their level of swimming. Click here to register when registration is open:
  • What do I do if my class is full?
    With safety being our main priority, we must limit the number of students in each class to maintain instructor-to-student ratio. However, you can sign up for our waitlist by Making the Promise if you haven't done so:
  • Can I choose my instructor?
    We do not offer the option to choose your instructor. Each instructor is chosen to teach a specific class based on their expertise and schedule availability.
  • How am I billed for my swim lessons?
    Classes are billed and paid for at the time of enrollment. If full payment is not recieved at the time of enrollment your spot in the class will not be secured.
  • How do I know which class is best for me?
    Thank you for your interest in our program. Registration for classes is based on the clients age and their level of swimming. We encourage you to visit our website to see the different packages we offer. Click here:
  • How can I purchase BPWS gift cards?
    You can purchase BPWS gift cards online on through our iClassPro website using any major credit card. We do not accept cash payments. Click here to make a purchase. Click here for instructions. Gift Card Video Tutorial How to Purchase. Book Now:
  • What monetary values are available for BPWS gift cards?
    Gift cards are available in various amounts, ranging from $1 to $1000. If you’d like to purchase a gift card exceeding $1000, please contact us at
  • Can I purchase a physical gift card at a swim session?
    No, at this time BPWS only offers e-gift cards.
  • Can I customize the design of the gift card?
    No, unfortunately you are not able to customize the design.
  • How can I check the balance on my gift card?
    You can check your balance online on the Family Ledge Info in your iClassPro account.
  • Can I reload my gift card?
    Currently, our gift cards are not reloadable. Once the balance is used, the card cannot be recharged. You can always purchase additional gift cards to meet your desired amount.
  • How long is my gift card valid for?
    BPWS have a validity period of 1 year from the date of purchase. If you have any questions about the validity of your gift card, reach out to
  • What if the recipient doesn’t want the gift card, can I return or refund my gift card?
    Gift cards are non-refundable. Once purchased, they cannot be returned or redeemed for cash.
  • Can I use BPWS gift cards for online purchases such as official merchandise?
    Yes, all gift cards can be used to purchase classes or any merchandise for sale in our online store unless specifically noted.
  • What do I do if my gift card is lost or stolen?
    Please contact immediately if your gift card is lost or stolen. We may be able to issue you a replacement, but certain conditions may apply.
  • Are there any fees associated with gift cards?
    Our gift cards do not have additional fees or taxes.
  • Does the person need to create an iClassPro to redeem the gift card?
    Yes, the family you want to send the gift card must create an account with iClassPro in order to redeem and access the gift card.
  • What is the expiration date of the gift card?
    The gift cards are valid for 1 year from purchase.
  • Can the gift card be used for private and class lessons?
    Yes, the gift cards can be use for group lessons or private lessons (as long as there is availability of instructors).
  • Is the gift card refundable or transferable if the recipient can't attend?
    No, not at this time. The credit will remain in their account for one year.
  • Can the value of the gift card be customized?
    No, once the gift card has been purchase you cannot change the value. If the value of the gift card is insufficent you can purchase an additional gift card.
  • Are there any packages or deals available for multiple lessons that can be covered by the gift card?
    Not at the moment.
  • What is the policy regarding cancellations or rescheduling of lessons?
    If you used the gift card toward a session you cancelled or reschedule, you can use that credit towards the next class.
  • Are there any restrictions or blackout periods during which the card cannot be used?
    No. As long as the gift card is used within the year of purchase, you can use it to purchase any swim lesson available.

Make the promise

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Make this promise to yourself and your family that you will learn how to swim!



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