Articles Posted by BESE Staff

The Synchronized Sport of Escaramuza

by on February 14, 2020 0

Escaramuza is an all-female, rodeo-like sport from Mexico that combines beauty, history, and strength—and it’s being kept alive right here in the U.S. Meet Arizona-based team, Escaramuza Charra Rayenari in our first episode of The Shape Shift—an original series from BESE and Smartwater that explores the intersection of sports, culture, and history. Presented by Smartwater. 



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Hidden Figuras: Maria Tallchief—Osage Native And America’s First Prima Ballerina

by on January 17, 2020 0

As the country’s first prima ballerina, Maria Tallchief put American ballet on the map. She played an integral role in making the New York City Ballet world-renowned and even brought the Nutcracker from obscurity into the American zeitgeist. But in the years right before Tallchief was born, her entire family was nearly murdered when oil was discovered beneath the Osage reservation in Oklahoma.



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Hidden Figuras: The Lone Latinx Voice Of Journalist Ruben Salazar

by on January 2, 2020 0

Late journalist, Ruben Salazar, kicked open many doors throughout his short life. He was a voice for the Latinx community when there was none, he defied the odds in American mainstream media and clapped back at corruption, police brutality and racial discrimination. To this day, it is speculated his death was a targeted hit on behalf of the LAPD rather than an accidental tragedy.

Lead image courtesy of Ruben Salazar papers, USC libraries



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Folkslore: The Curse of the Jinn

by on December 23, 2019 0

In this episode of Folkslore, one woman recalls a time when doing one simple task at night gave her owl-filled nightmares. According to a Yemeni legend, the culprit was the Jinn—shape-shifting spirits made of fire and air. If you have a Folkslore story, share it with us! Call 1-833-GOT-LORE or send us a message at

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BESE Explains: Why Are People Still in Jail For Weed?

by on December 18, 2019 0

People of color are about four times more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession than whites—despite the fact that it’s used by different races at similar levels. But the majority of U.S. states have legalized the plant in some way, so why are people—particularly people of color—still getting arrested and jailed for cannabis? Abdullah Saeed breaks it all down in this episode of BESE Explains.



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Sea of Change: Las Fotos Project

by on December 11, 2019 0

Eric Ibarra saw there was a lack of creative spaces for young women of color in East Los Angeles—so he founded Las Fotos Project, a photography mentorship program that gives young women who are aspiring photographers, the tools they need to reach their goals. Watch the latest episode of Sea of Change for more.



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Sea of Change: Familia TQLM

by on December 4, 2019 0

Angela was forced to leave Guatemala to escape death and persecution when she was just 15 years old. When she finally arrived to the United States, she was sent to a detention center where, as a trans woman, she faced even more hardships. But her story is not uncommon. Undocumented trans-Latinx women are often left out of the mainstream immigration narrative, despite their difficult— and sometimes fatal—experiences. Familia TQLM is doing everything it can to change that and more. Check out our latest episode of Sea of Change to learn more about Familia’s work.



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Folkslore: The Sangoma

by on November 21, 2019 0

 In this episode of Folkslore, a caller from Johannesburg tell us about the time a traditional South African healer saved their parent’s farm and solved the mystery behind a series of unfortunate events. If you have a Folkslore story, share it with us! Call 1-833-GOT-LORE or send us a message at



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Connected: Glenn Cantave

by on October 30, 2019 0

This New York City activist is using augmented reality to erect monuments of notable people of color. Glenn Cantave created Movers and Shakers, an organization that uses tech for change. He uses skills he learned from the Verizon Innovative Learning Program to further his cause and now his programs will be in Verizon Innovative Learning schools across the country.



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Connected: Yerenia Barajas

by on October 23, 2019 0

Compton is often associated with guns, violence and gangs, but 15-year-old Yerenia Barajas is passionate about changing the perception of her community. From coding to creating videos about climate change and gun violence, Barajas is using the skills she’s learned through the Verizon Innovative Learning program to create change through technology.



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