Houston Newsmakers for July 8: Child drowning prevention, swimming lessons & AKA Sorority takeover


Child drowning changes family forever

HOUSTON – It only took a minute.

In seconds, Judah Brown slipped beneath the water during a pool party. His parents and other adults were nearby, but by the time they realized he was in the water, it was too late.

He died three months after his third birthday. His family of nine had lost its youngest member. Horrified by their lack of knowledge about the frequency of child drownings, Christi and Mark Brown are now lending their names and support to the Judah Brown Project, which aims to increase awareness around what is the No. 1 cause of accidental death in children.

Annette Courtney is the foundation founder and President and says they have much to do.

“Save lives, save children, to give CPR classes to families in need,” Courtney said. “To sponsor children to swim, to have survival swim. Not just swim lessons but survival swim.”

Mark Brown said his family is changed forever and will not tire of this mission.

“The illusion of safety is gone,” Brown said. “A number of our children witnessed it. It was very traumatic, as you can imagine. So, the sense that the world isn’t a safe place is now apparent.”

The family's story is featured this week on Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall.

YMCA focuses on saving lives through swimming lessons

Since 1906, when the YMCA is credited with developing a group swim instruction program, the organization has dedicated many hours to teaching children and adults to swim.

There are programs in place to teach children as young as 6 months old. Rosemary Lengefeld, a district executive director based at the Trotter Family YMCA, said the YMCA also sends teams of lifeguards into apartment complexes to teach children there to swim because it is a high source of drownings.

“We want everyone to have the opportunity to be safe around water and that’s something that traditionally has been a barrier,” Lengefeld said. “Unfortunately, swimming has been a higher-income sport so we’re trying to keep that piece out of it and say that everyone needs to be safe around water and have that opportunity.”

For more information on what is offered and for how much on this week’s Houston Newsmakers.

AKA Sorority Takes over Houston!  

It’s called the 68th Boule of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. More than 20,000 women from the first African-American sorority in the nation will converge on Houston for the sorority's national meeting.

Leona Dotson, the communications director for the sorority, said the organization is about much more than socializing.

“We are going out speaking to our legislators about what was important. We were talking about gun rights. We were talking about gun violence,” Dotson said. "We were talking about things important to ur community, especially around our children.”

More Information:

•   Christi and Mark Brown, Judah Brown Project
•   https://JudahBrownproject.org 
•   Phone:832-618-6382
•    Twitter: @JBrownProject
•    Annette Courtney, Founder & President, Judah Brown Project
•    https://JudahBrownproject.org   
•    Phone: 832-618-6382
•    Twitter: @JBrownProject
•    Rosemary Lengefeld, Executive District Director, Trotter Family YMCA
•     www.ymcahouston.org 
•     https://bit.ly/2NszZqZ 
•     Twitter: @YMCAHouston
•    Leona Dotson, Communications Director, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority 
•     www.aka1908.com 
•     Email: Press@aka1908.com 
•     Phone: 559-670-1592
•     Twitter: @akasorority1908 

About the Author: