2020 Economic Justice Champion
Elisabeth Williams-Omilami has been "on the battlefield for her Lord", for over 30 years. Beginning as a very young girl, she accompanied her father, noted civil rights leader, Dr. Hosea Williams on marches and in movements across the south. Her "jailed for Freedom" record includes being the first Black woman in 75 years to spend the night in the Forsyth County jail during that infamous march in January of 1981. As an actress, she was able to combine her art with life as she toured in the play that her mother, State Representative Juanita T. Williams, co-wrote titled "The Life Of A King". Her parents, both gone home to be with the Lord in 2000, formed in her from a very early age that we all are accountable for each other and for the environment that exists on the planet and responsible to do all that we can to fight for justice for everyone. While working as an actress and playwright, Omilami had also worked for over 15 years in the background of her father's "Hosea Feed The Hungry and Homeless" efforts and, upon his passing in November of 2000, became the organization's CEO, expanding the organization to provide an additional 40,000 dinners yearly with the addition of events on M.L.K. Jr.'s Birthday and Easter Sunday. She is now planning for the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners while adding to her busy speaking and touring schedule several international relief efforts in the Philippines and Uganda.
She is a graduate of Hampton University in Theatre and founder of one of Atlanta's earliest theatre companies, People's Survival Theater, as well as the "Summer Artscamp", providing arts programming for economically challenged youth for over 7 years. She has written several plays, one of which "There Is A River In My Soul" will be touring in February 2002. She is a past member of both the Georgia Council For The Arts and the Fulton County Arts Council and is a passionate advocate for the arts to be instituted as a permanent part of our society. She is an accomplished actress and can be seen this Christmas at the Alliance Theatre in "A Christmas Carol" and in early 2002 in "Left Hand Singing" at the Jewish Theatre of The South. She can also be seen in the HBO made for television movie, Boycott (2001), and will be well remembered by fans of both In the Heat of the Night (1988) and the award-winning I'll Fly Away (1991).
She is the wife of actor Afemo Omilami, co-director of "Hosea's Feed The Hungry and Homeless" and has two wonderful children - Awodele, 21, and Juanita, 16. She is a member of Abundant Life Church in Lithonia, Ga., where her Pastor is Rev. Woodrow Walker, II. She is an active member of the Prison, Missions, and Drama Ministries there.