The Y Announces Community Learning Series for Equity & Justice

Seattle, WA 29 July, 2020-

The Y of Greater Seattle invites the community for this free screening and panel discussion on racial disparities and social inequities that impact all people, especially Black, Indigenous, and people of color. This screening is the beginning of a multipart series on equity hosted by the Y.

A Most Beautiful Thing is a film featuring the first-ever African American high school rowing team in the nation made up of young men from the West Side of Chicago, many of whom were from rival gangs all coming together to row in the same boat. This film is not rated but does feature explicit language so this conversation is best for adults.

The Event


Register here to get your free link to watch the film at home on your own schedule and receive resources for further learning.

This film is not rated but does feature explicit language so this conversation is best for adults.


Then, join us on August 5 at 4 pm for a virtual community discussion with Arshay Cooper, whose story is highlighted in the film, and other community leaders and experts, to discuss the systemic themes of the film and how we as a community can begin to identify and disrupt the disparate impacts of systemic racism and unleash the potential within ourselves, our organizations and our communities.

More about the Film

The film takes a deep dive into the backstories of these young men, examining the issues of intergenerational trauma and violence. As the team’s captain, Arshay Cooper, reflected, “When we were on the water, we were in a place where we couldn’t hear the sound of sirens or bullets, and that allowed us to shape a different vision for ourselves, of who and what we could become. And that was a beautiful thing.”

In the wake of the death of a coach, these young men came together again, after 20 years out of the boat, to race once more. For their sons and for their community. And in an extraordinary turn of events, Arshay invited members of the Chicago Police Department to join their reunion team. What then happened was unexpected for all involved. The release of this project, which highlights the talent and work ethic of young people from places like the West Side of Chicago, cast in sharp relief against lack of access and opportunity, as well as the events of the past month, is now more resonant than ever. Learn more about the film here.

RSVP here to get a link to view the film and then join the community discussion on Wednesday August 5 at 4 pm. 


About the YMCA of Greater Seattle

The YMCA of Greater Seattle is the Northwest’s leading nonprofit organization strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Founded in 1876, the Y reaches more than 238,000 people of all backgrounds, abilities and financial circumstances annually through 14 branches, two overnight camps and more than 200 program sites throughout King and south Snohomish counties. It nurtures more than 92,000 kids and teens to develop their gifts and give back to our community and engages 23,000 volunteers who contribute more than 388,000 hours of service each year. Visit

For more information about the YMCA of Greater Seattle, email