Our Richmond Team

Community Advocates:
Thriving Cities hired Community Advocates to assist with conducting community outreach, survey distribution, and interviews during the summer of 2017.


Alfredo Martinez

A carpenter by trade, Alfredo lived on the corridor for 4 years when he moved to the States. Alfredo is primarily focused on engaging the Spanish-speaking community in our work on the corridor.


Anthony (Ajay) Brewer

 Ajay owns Brewers cafe in Manchester. He grew up on the Southside and is committed to raising his son in the same community – a community that he has had a hand in changing.


Debra Keys


Debra has lived in the Hillside Court Community for ten years. Her goal is to see her community become unified.

Elaine Williams

Elaine is a recent VCU School of Social Work graduate who lived on the Southside in high school with family. Elaine wants to see justice for a community that has largely been ignored.



Rodney Gaines

Rodney grew up in Davee Gardens and has lived there most of his life. He wants a community where his grandchildren can come visit and he can provide healthy food for them not just junk food from the corner store.


Shakirah Jones

Shakirah is a rising senior in high school and lives in the Oak Grove neighborhood. She has learned that she can make a difference in the community through projects related to working with the homeless in the community and she wants to do the same with the project on the corridor.


Yolanda Vaughan

Yolanda has lived in the Davee Gardens community all of her life. Her parents started the Davee Gardens Civic association. Yolanda wants to be apart of carrying on the work her parents started in the neighborhood, she also wants her community to be the type of place that her friends who have moved away would be proud to come back to and raise their families in.