The Staley B. Keith Social Justice Center (SBK) is a black led community-based organization committed to overcoming the long standing social and racial injustices that breed economic and social distress within the City of Hudson and Columbia County. SBK enacts change through its investment in building a community where people of color are empowered to intervene in the systems of oppression that impact them. We lead this shift through creating networks of support and service for each other, organizing for political representation and policy change, and educating youth to become tomorrow’s leaders.
In only three years, and on significantly less than a $50,000 annual budget, SBK has made great strides towards empowering communities of color in Hudson. SBK’s model is to approach change from every angle. SBK engages in Direct Service to help alleviate the impact of poverty for individuals and families, and to provide opportunities for leadership and community building. SBK approaches Civic Engagement with the view that political empowerment means electing members of the black community to represent marginalized voices and enact policy change, thus we mobilize our community to take part in local democracy. SBK advocates for Criminal Justice Reform with an emphasis on juvenile justice, to fight for a more a humane, transparent, and accountable justice system that prioritizes rehabilitation over incarceration. SBK invests i n Youth Education to ensure that young people are provided programming and mentorship that shapes them into young leaders, empowered to create the changes they long to see in their community.
Staley was born December 29th 1942 in Raleigh, NC to Mazie Hedgepeth-Keith and James H. Keith. He attended Wake County Public Schools including John W. Ligon High School were he was an all star athlete and earned a full Football Scholarship to North Carolina Central University in 1961 were he earned his Bachelors in Physical Education and Health.
Staley was being solicited by the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears upon graduation but decided to become a teacher and arrived in Hudson NY in 1965. Staley began his Career at Berkshire Farms in Cannon , NY as a Cottage Supervisor and then with the Office of Children and Family Services formerly the New York State Division for Youth at the NYS DSS Training School for Girls earning his Permanent Teaching Certificate in Physical Education in 1966. Staley also received his Master’s from Marywood College in Education in 1978. He continued working for the state in many capacities from Assistant Director, Director of Child Care and Senior Youth Division Counselor Unit Administrator. Staley Retired from Brookwood Secure Center in 1995. Staley also served in his community as a substitute school teacher within the Hudson City School District for many years to follow.
The Civil Rights Movement spurred Staley a man of conviction to seek political and social justice in the Hudson Community and his career. He was a founding member of the Kiwanas Club, Past president of the Local Columbia/Greene NAACP, Vice President of the NYS Division Black Caucus, Employee Council Relations within the Division for Youth. Politically he held offices as the Commissioner of the Hudson Housing Authority ,Commissioner of Cemeteries 1986-88,1989-91, City Alderman of the 4th Ward and Columbia County Board of Supervisor 4th Ward. He also was an avid golf player and enjoyed playing the sport with friends. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Twin County Vikings Football team and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992. He is also a member of the M.W. King Solomon Grand Lodge Mt. Carmel Lodge #52.
On August 11, 2012 Staley Bradley Keith was called home at Columbia Memorial Hospital. He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Jacinta and Daughter Alexis who is also the Vice-President and Vice-Chairman of the Center.