Humanitarian and actress Elisabeth Omilami was born on February 18, 1951, in Atlanta, Georgia. As a young girl, she accompanied her father, the noted civil rights leader Dr. Hosea Williams, on marches and movements across the South. During the height of the Civil Rights Movement, after having the distinction of being one of the youngest people arrested in the fight for civil rights, Omilami was sent to boarding school. She also has the distinction of being the first African American woman in seventy-five years to spend the night in the Forsyth County jail during a march in January of 1981. She attended Hampton University, where she received her B.A. degree in theater.
In 1970, during the time her father began his own humanitarian organization, Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless, Omilami founded The People’s Survival Theater, one of Atlanta’s earliest performing arts companies. She also created a summer arts camp that provided arts training for the economically challenged youth in Atlanta. She is a past member of both the Georgia Council for the Arts and the Fulton County Arts Council.
Omilami is also the author of several plays, one of which, There is a River in My Soul, toured in February, 2002. As an actress, Omilami has combined her art with her life, as she toured in the play, The Life of a King, which her mother, State Representative Jaunita T. Williams, co-authored. Omilami has acted in numerous films, including Runaway Jury, Ray, Madea’s Family Reunion and The Altar, a film which showcases the plight of the homeless while portraying them as individuals deserving of dignity and respect.
For more than fifteen years, she worked to support her father’s organization. It was started to help feed the homeless each Thanksgiving Day. In 2000, upon her father’s death, Omilami was named chief executive officer of Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless. The organization now provides 40,000 dinners yearly, and has events on Christmas Day, Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, and Easter Sunday. Omilami is a member of the Abundant Life Church in Lithonia, Georgia, where she is an active member of the Prison Missions and Drama Ministries.
Omilami is the wife of actor, Afemo Omilami, and has two children. They live in Atlanta, Georgia.