Welcome to the Evolving Man Project’s “Evolved Man of the Week” profile. Each week we will highlight an individual that embodies what it means to be an evolved person, famous and non-famous individual alike. The world needs to know their stories and deeds. This week’s honor goes to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student, activist, GenerationNation board member, Righteous Keitt.
A young man with a virtuous name who’s been fighting for a righteous cause since he was just 16 years old. At 16, Keitt started his first community organization called Bags 4 Bagless, which still provides Charlotte’s homeless community with drawstring bags filled with toiletries, food, and clothing.
Then, he started mentoring other students while a student himself at Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology. He was selected to be a part of Steve Harvey’s Disney Dreamers Academy, a selective program for students to explore prospective paths, and Keitt joined GenerationNation’s Charlotte-Mecklenburg Youth Council, where he got to work with city officials like Winston. And he’s spent the past several years protesting and advocating for various causes, like Black Lives Matter and March for Our Lives.
Keitt’s now a sophomore studying political science and public policy at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he was awarded a full-ride in scholarships, and plans to start a foundation to grant scholarships to students going to historically Black colleges and universities. And he is most looking forward to continuing to mentor Charlotte students. He has figured out how to broadcast his own message—over the airwaves, on social media, and even in public forums, resulting in policy shifts—shows that the young activist has internalized some lessons from the past half-century of civil-rights movements and is adapting them in new ways to push urgently for change.
This summer, Keitt led a Black Lives Matter rally with Black Men United at Charlotte’s Marshall Park. Through a bullhorn, he chanted, “All lives can’t matter until Black lives matter!” On another day, he appeared on a panel alongside the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police chief and other local activists and encouraged defunding the police. He shares all of this on Instagram. “I try to use the platforms that I’ve been given to let other people know that these are the things that need to be changed.”
Here is Righteous Keitt in his own words:
I just want a change from where we are because it needs to happen,” … “My goal is that it just spreads. So that even if I’m not the one that’s making the change, you know, hopefully, someone down the road, whether it be five years or 50 years, is actively making that push.”