“Grieve not for me. Remember the best times, the laughter and the song. The good life I lived while I was strong. ”It is said that life binds the living and death releases the spirit forever. The spirit of Taylor Theona Keith entered this world on December 1, 1995, in Staten Island, N.Y., and was forever released on August 10, 2019. Taylor was born to Paul Keith and Pamela Le’Mon-Keith. She is survived by her mother and brother, William Le’Mon-Blocker.
Taylor attended the State University of New York at Geneseo and graduated in the class of 2018. While studying to obtain her Bachelor of Arts in Biological Anthropology she engaged in social activism. Throughout her college experience Taylor held positions in multiple student organizations. She was the Public Relations Liaison and later Co-President of Students Against Injustice. She rose to Vice President of Pride Alliance. With Taylor in mind, the college created the position of Social Justice Student Connector and allowed her to develop a curriculum that fostered positive connections between faculty and students of color. As a Safe Zone Trainer, she trained campus administrators and students each semester to increase awareness and acceptance of sexually diverse students. Taylor was dedicated to promoting the well-being of LGBTQ+ community on and off campus. As Chant Leader and speaker of Geneseo Black Lives Matter and Geneseo Can’t Breathe, Taylor created posters and joined others in protesting the deaths of Black men in the United States. It is with these forays into social justice that Taylor became a source of understanding, comfort and kindness to the students under her care as a Resident Assistant. Taylor’s work and social activism led to her being recognized and awarded with such accolades as the Fasal Alam Young Leaders Award, WGST Harriet Tubman Activism/Leadership Award and the SUNY Geneseo Diversity and Inclusion Award. Taylor was formally recognized on the floor of the New York State Senate in 2014. Taylor entered graduate studies in August 2018, at the State University of New York at Albany with a focus in Cultural Anthropology. She maintained the same level of excellence which she previously enjoyed. Taylor touched the lives of many students in her work as a Substitute Teacher at Hackett Middle School.
In the very near future we will see a girl with brilliant eyes and we will think of Taylor. A girl will come along with a breathtaking smile, which causes us to pause, to take a second look, and we will think of Taylor. A girl will sing a song, that instantly brings to mind, the soul of Jennifer Hudson, and we will hear the sound of Taylor. A girl will laugh, her throaty laugh, and we will hear the sound of Taylor. In the very near future we will see a girl take a stand to advocate for others and we will think of Taylor. A girl will come along who speaks the language of change and we will think of Taylor. A girl will talk to those in power, to ensure change for a better tomorrow, and we will think of Taylor. A girl will chant, a freedom chant, and we will think of Taylor. In the very near future we will see a girl move a mountain to end racial discrimination on her college campus and we will think of Taylor. A girl will come along and demand that faculty are taught the “Souls of Black Folks” and we will think of Taylor. A girl will teach the zone of safety for LGBTQ Folks and we will think of Taylor. When you see this girl in all her brilliance you will think of Taylor.
New York Future Problem Solving Program Inc.