Do Right Men 2007: Jim Ellis

Jim Ellis HOME BASE: Philadelphia PROFESSION: Coach, USA Swimming Foundation DOING RIGHT: When he waxes poetic about water as life and freedom, Ellis makes you want to take the big plunge. In life, as on film, the charismatic school teacher and subject of the Lions Gate film Pride preaches that swimming changes lives—just as it did in 1973 for the African-American team he founded in one of Philly's roughest neighborhoods. He has joined with the Make a Splash campaign, sponsored by the USA Swimming Foundation, to get our kids into the water. "African Americans aren't exposed to the sport," notes Ellis, who says each summer more Black children drown than any other races. "As a result, we miss out on the joy as well as the health and fitness benefits."
ESSENCE.COM Aug, 29, 2008