By Tasion Kwamilele
Amanda Elliott is one of the main reasons why Richmond’s downtown main streets will remain on “front street” in the minds of everyone who travels this city. Richmond’s downtown is something to sing about.
Under Elliott’s leadership, her organization, the Richmond Main Street Initiative (RMSI), has helped improve the image of downtown by providing exciting activities and events that celebrate the rich history and diversity of the city.
She completed the Richmond Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program in 2008 and the Chevron Management Institute Program in 2009 where she gained valuable information on Richmond’s history, organizational leadership, community collaboration and professional development.
(RMSI). Richmond Main Street is a community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to revitalizing historic downtown Richmond, as a vibrant, culturally diverse, pedestrian-friendly urban village offering products, services, arts and entertainment.
During her 4 years at RMSI, Elliott built strong relationships and community support with their programs, which include: Youth Entrepreneurs, Art in Windows, pilot Ambassadors, and the West County Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Eco Village Farm Stand event.
Elliott is an Oakland native. She comes from a close-knit family with roots in Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas. Her parents, Willie and Grace Hébert, instilled the importance of community service very early in her life. She was actively involved in community service through church, Girl Scouts and other community programs.
She is a strong believer that “we can transform our communities by giving of our time and talents to worthy projects.” Elliott graduated from Bishop O’Dowd High school where she was voted “most talented” and played violin in the school orchestra and was a lead performer in the theater group.
She graduated from San Francisco State University and is a graduate of St. Mary’s College Masters in Leadership Program.
Before joining Richmond Main Street Initiative, she was alumni relations manager and program coordinator for the Maynard Institute in Oakland where she organized events at Harvard, Northwestern University, UC Berkeley, University of Nevada and the University of Southern California.
Elliott also worked at UC Berkeley’s Department of Dramatic Art as administrative and publicity coordinator. She’s worked at KQED , KPFA and KOFY.
She’s a member of the Sojourner Truth Presbyterian Church and the Kiwanis Club.
She was a vocalist for the Oakland Jazz Choir. She has sung backup for such notable artists as Patrice Rushen, Michael Henderson and Najee. Amanda’s 1999 CD, Kissed by a Dove features original music that she and her husband produced through their music company Nymani. She also performs on Terrence’s 2007 CD “The Professor.” Amanda and Terence Elliott live in Richmond and have two adult daughters.