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Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.

From The New York Times:

Her Parents Thought Swimming Lessons Were a Good Idea

Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.…

Former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka

Good video about former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka


Naji's Comments

Comment Wall (21 comments)

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At 7:58pm on December 10, 2011, Tankeeya said…

Hi Naji!  Thanks for supporting The Josh Project! Take Care!

At 8:22pm on June 26, 2011, Michelle G. said…
Hi Naji! Thanks for stopping by my page and for your note! I really appreciate it. How do you know Melon Dash?
At 4:28am on June 18, 2011, Kofi Anku said…

Hello Naji, 


Any interest in getting a few black open water swimmer together to organize an open water swim in Ghana?  Such an event would certainly raise the profile of the sport in the country and garner a ton of media attention around the issue of water safety.  


Best Regards,



At 6:18pm on May 31, 2011, Jeannie Brown Johnson said…

Hey Naji,


Appreciate the friend invite :)


And to answer your question about water aerobics, YES, I've had quite a few folks cross train with me when I was working at Sports Club LA-DC and Vida Fitness.  Although those 2 clubs had shallow water pools, we were able to work on full body strength & toning with bands, weighted balls, ankle cuffs & bells.  The class I teach on Saturdays from 9-10a @ Waterside Swim & Fitness Club in South West DC is a shallow deep pool where we have more room to do cardio, plyometric training, strength & toning, plus, incorporate fins (if you have a pair) in the deep water segments of class.  You're welcome to join us on on that day or Erica on Tues/Thurs from 7-8p (although I will be subbing her class this Thurs.)

You'll be able to enjoy a fun, challenging class with great music :)


Look forward to seeing you one of these days.


The club is @ 901 6th & M Streets, SW, WDC.  If you need subway or driving directions just Google them or shoot me a note so I can help ya' get there, OK.


Peace, Prosperity, Health & Harmony,

"Aqua Power to the People!"


Jeannie Brown Johnson

At 8:04pm on May 15, 2011, Naimah Fuller said…

Hi Naji - thanks for making your friend here on Diversity in Aquatics.  I look forward to learning from you and everyone here, more about the aquatic culture.  




At 12:11am on May 5, 2011, Faheemah said…
So, I have a question---how does one overcome the fear of aquatic life? The idea of open water sounds a bit interesting to me until I think about jellyfish and sharks and even little schools of fish (ahhhhhh!!!)...
At 12:07am on May 5, 2011, Faheemah said…
Thanks, Naji! Rowing is the most challenging physical activity I've encountered yet, but it's also quite addictive. Only the craziness of my first few years of grad. school could keep me away so long...I am SO excited to be back into it! Glad you're interested and want to learn more. The row your friend took you on certainly wasn't a novice trip, so although rowing is tough I think you probably got an overdose! haha I hope that you try it again! And if I'm bold enough, someday I'll go for an open water swim. Happy swimming :)
At 5:49pm on April 26, 2011, Wanda Jean Butts said…
Naji - how are you?  I miss talking to you.  Hope you are well and still swimming!  We are getting ready to have our 1st Annual Water Safety Day on May 28.  May is the National Water safety Month so we are getting our day in.  Wish you could be here!  I still love you, thank you, and appreciate all you did and have done for The Josh Project!  Peace, Blessings & Joy to you!  Your friend and sister - wanda
At 2:48pm on December 15, 2010,
Board Member
Shaun Anderson

Naji, Will you be doing any long OW practice swims during your trip?

At 12:45pm on June 1, 2010, Jayson Jackson said…
How did it go on Saturday?
At 6:05pm on May 26, 2010, Michaun Butts Auzenne said…
Hi Naji,

I am Wanda Butts' niece in California. My mother (Wanda's sister) and I are here in the Bay Area and would love to be able to support you in this very important swim on Saturday! I would like to meet you either at the beginning or end of your swim. Can you send me a message and let me know which you think would be best? God Bless You and Thank You for all you are doing for The Josh Project!
At 5:23pm on May 20, 2010, Kenneth Roland said…
Thanks for your interest. The season is here and all preparations are under way to make every child a swimmer. More to come very soon.
At 10:39am on March 15, 2010, Lisa Mead said…
Have a great time in NZ - stunning country (almost as stunning as Australia!!)
At 11:52pm on March 14, 2010, Tracie Jones said…
Thanks Naji! I think this is a great site and I look forward to contributing and sharing it with others.
At 9:01pm on February 24, 2010, Tim Huth said…
Cool, and you let me know if you're up for a row in Providence. I hope you're taking advantage of the liquid water that we really miss here out east this time of the year!
At 7:29pm on February 9, 2010, Jennifer Galvin said…
Thank you so much for coming to see Free Swim in SF! It really meant a lot to have you there. I hope to see you again soon and will definitely keep you posted on our upcoming educational outreach and grassroots screening campaign with the film.
Very best,
At 9:50pm on February 3, 2010, Angela Gray said…
I love the video you posted, Naji. I can see how effective the total immersion method would be in open water. Is that the way you swim in open water? That's very cool that you know the guy in the video I posted. I agree that we should spread the word about such a great way to swim.
At 8:23pm on September 7, 2009, Darrick Linton said…
Hi Naji,
Thank You So Much for the extended invitation, and I promise to take you up on your offer whenever I am in San Francisco area. I would really love to share with the rest of DAP about the experience. It is my ultimate goal to learn how to scuba dive, parasail, and surf. I have tried water skiing, which I love tremendously, but wish I had access to do that more often. Take Care Naji, and will keep in touch with you from time to time. Darrick, aka dswimmerman
At 10:31pm on September 6, 2009, Darrick Linton said…
Hi Naji,
Wow, Your profile was very interesting to say the least. First of all, welcome to the site and so happy to have you aboard. Please continue to encourage not only children, but all of us, who are shallow minded thinkers and swimmers, about exploring aquatic recreatioanal, competitive, or distance swimming beyond the boundaries of a swimming pool. I must admit My Brother, I am one of those who have never considered swimming in the open ocean due to the inhabitants of salt water, like sharks, and other dangerous species that have kept me away. Another facet of my fears is due to watching such shows as "Untamed and Uncut", as well as those scary stories we read and hear about attacks in salt water. I must say from viewing your photos that you are truly an inspiration to attempt such a swim, with others, in open waters just for the experience. I applaud you for what you do, and I encourage you to continue encouraging others the way you do. May God continue to Bless You, and that He Find Favor in your endeavors. Take Care Naji. Darrick, aka dswimmerman
At 6:53pm on June 1, 2009, Wanda Jean Butts said…
Thank you Naji - I agree with you that we need to change our views a bout people of color especially our children learning to become water safe and learning how to swim. I too believe that swimming is a life skill. Together we can make a difference. This past April I began swimming lessons myself (I finally got the courage) and I am learning to enjoy the water. My learning to swim in The Josh Project is a true testimony for the children and the parents. I thank GOD for the courage and the Mission. Peace, love & blessings to you......Josh's Mom (will you please join the Josh Project Group?)

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