Cullen Jones, a member of the winning Olympic USA 4×100-meter freestyle team in Beijing and the first African-American to hold a world long-course record, is on a mission to promote life-saving swimming programs throughout the country, according to He is joining the USA Swimming Foundation and Conoco Phillips to bring awareness to the fact that African-American children drown at a rate almost three times higher than White children in similar age groups.

Jones, who admits he learned how to swim because he almost drowned when he was 5 years old, is trying to change drowning statistics for Black children. He will travel the country speaking about the availability of low-cost or free swimming lessons in Houston, Indianapolis, Seattle, Kansas City, Denver and Los Angeles as well as increasing funding for programs that support swimming education.—WLW

Check out Cullen Jones as one of our “Do Right Men” of 2007