Our Mission


Minneapolis Swims is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the proposition that all Minneapolis children should have the opportunity to learn to swim. Minneapolis Swims is located in the Phillips Neighborhood which is the most economically challenged and racially diverse neighborhood in the city.  The population includes a large number of Native American, African American, Hispanics, and Somalis. Native Americans have the highest drowning rate in the country followed closely by African Americans. And of the 8,000 competitive swimmers in Minnesota, only two are Native American.  The main reason for this disparity is economic.  Poor neighborhoods lack access to public swimming facilities and families lack the money to pay for swimming lessons.  It is unacceptable that in Minneapolis, the City of Lakes, impoverished inner-city children lack the opportunity to learn to swim – a skill that could save their life.

Minneapolis Swims hopes to change these statistics.

We believe swimming can transform the lives of at-risk youth by allowing them to take calculated risks and demonstrate courage by overcoming a natural fear of the water.  It is a foundational skill for a lifelong healthy lifestyle and it opens access to the world of water-oriented outdoor activities. This is especially important in Minneapolis and greater Minnesota where we have been blessed with an abundance of lakes and rivers.

Our Mission is simple:

To bring swimming to inner-city Minneapolis children

Our goals:

  1. Save lives by teaching all children to swim
  2. Provide inner city youth access to swim teams to help diversify the sport
  3. Promote swimming as a foundation for a healthy, active lifestyle to help lower obesity rates and diseases like diabetes
  4. Create access for inner city youth to the world of outdoor recreational opportunities that enrich lives, promote environmental stewardship, and increase usage of our public parks