Read a message from Keith
A Life of Advocacy
Keith Sutton’s career as a public servant, advocate, and leader is rooted in a foundation of civil rights and justice for all. Prepared for servant leadership by activist parents, his official career began as Director of the Rocky Mount, North Carolina-based Common Ground organization which promoted the improvement of race and community relations. He says that leading that program honed his consensus-building skills and strengthened his resolve to underscore the needs of humanity as more similar than dissimilar.
After Common Ground, Sutton continued his civil liberties work as Executive Director of the North Carolina NAACP, and was then tapped to demonstrate his leadership skills in the political arena as Field Director for Congresswomen Eva Clayton’s campaign. He subsequently helped her to get re-elected in 1998. His public sector work continued when he went to work in a government relations post with the United States Census Bureau as a Partnership Specialist and Team Leader. In 2000, he led the effort to establish an affiliate of the National Urban League in the Raleigh/Durham area, and served as President and CEO of the Triangle Urban League from 2000 to 2007. In 2008, he joined the Bev Perdue for Governor Campaign as Outreach Coordinator, and later that year served as Deputy Director of the Coordinated Campaign for the North Carolina Democratic Party. He began working for the State of North Carolina in 2009 as the Legislative Affairs Manager for the North Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and currently serves as the Victim Advocate Liaison for the North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission. That same year, Sutton’s leadership experience was sought to fill the unexpired term of Rosa Gill, and he was then appointed to represent East Raleigh (District 4).
Again, his experience as a team player preceded this appointment, having been a member of a number of local boards and commissions. Some of those included the Healthy Schools Task Force; the Raising Achievement and Closing Gaps Task Force; the Board of Directors of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce; the Southeast Raleigh Assembly; and the Blue Ribbon Committee on the Future of Wake County. He is a member of Wake Chapel Church, the Triangle East Chapter of 100 Black Men, Unity Lodge #64 of Prince Hall Masons, and the Iota Iota Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. for which he currently serves as Vice-Basileus (Vice President).
Sutton has received numerous honors and awards for his leadership, commitment to community service, and citizenship. He will be recognized as a 21st Century African-American Trailblazer, Good Brother, by the Wake County National Congress of Black Women at its annual Sojourner Truth Legacy Celebration on September 10, 2011. He was also named “Citizen of the Year” by the Iota Iota Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and received the 2010 “Social Action Award” from the Eta Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
Sutton is a very proud member of fatherhood to two beautiful girls, Alexia and Makayla, ages 13 and 8, respectively.
A William C. Friday Fellow, he is a 1992 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Relations. Sutton has also taken Executive Leadership courses at the Whitney M. Young, Jr. School of Social Work; the School of Business at Clark Atlanta University; and, the Chevron Texaco Management Institute.