Beach, Keasha

Keasha Beach grew up in the communities of Mesa and Chandler. She began running track as a child with the Arizona Cheetahs Track Club. She excelled in athletics and academics at Dobson High School. She ran track for two years at Mesa Community College before transferring to Colorado and Arizona State University, where she graduated with an accounting degree.

In the wake of the 2020 murder of George Floyd, Keasha founded BASE (Black Alliance and Social Empowerment) Arizona. The community driven organization works to empower the Black community, provide resources, events, and education while providing a safe space. She was inspired to organize BASE Arizona by the work her brother did in organizing BASE Southern Oregon. Of growing up in Chandler, Keasha says “I would say growing up out here as far as the Black community is concerned, I don’t know that I necessarily felt a safe space or a strong presence within the Black community at that time. I would say the only time I really felt that presence was being on the Arizona Cheetah’s Track Club.” With BASE Arizona, Keasha builds that safe space and sense of community for younger generations of Black residents.

On April 28, 2021, Keasha sat with interviewer Earnest Robinson to record an oral history as part of the Building Bridges Oral History Project. In this candid interview, Keasha discusses growing up in Chandler and Mesa, confronting racism and bigotry from childhood through to today, and founding BASE Arizona. To listen to Keasha’s interview, click the icon below:

To read a transcript of Keasha’s April 28, 2021 oral history interview, click the icon below: