Elaine B. Jenkins, 83, a management consultant, former educator and longtime Republican activist who was honored for her work with minority businesses and in community affairs, died of a heart ailment Sept. 16 at her home in Kensington.
Mrs. Jenkins, vice chairman of the D.C. Republican Central Committee in the early 1960s, was a delegate to national Republican conventions in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
She was national director of the Just Folks for Nixon-Lodge committee in 1960 and later was appointed by President Nixon to the so-called Nelson Commission, which made recommendations on reorganization of the D.C. government. She also was a volunteer liaison on minority affairs with the Nixon White House and was chairman of the Council of 100 Black Republicans.
Nixon appointed her to the National Advisory Council on Education of Disadvantaged Children. Under President Reagan, she served on the National Voluntary Service Advisory Council. She was also president of an organization of women appointed to independent government agencies and was co-chairman of the Foreign Services Selection Board.
She published a book in 1996 about African American involvement in the Republican Party, "Jumping Double Dutch," that was a plea for racial diversity in the party.
Mrs. Jenkins was born in Butte, Mont., into a family of clerics and academics. One grandfather founded the business school at Wilberforce University in Ohio, and her father, the Rev. Russell S. Brown, was general secretary of the African Methodist Episcopal Churches of America.
Mrs. Jenkins graduated from Denver University and received a master's degree in education from Ohio State University. She did additional graduate work in education at Catholic University.
She began her first career, as an elementary school teacher, in Denver, and moved to Washington in 1946. She taught at schools that included Buchanan, Mott and Parkview elementaries before being named community coordinator in the 1960s of the pioneering Amidon tri-school project in Southwest Washington. It was an experiment in integrating divergent classes and races in the urban renewal area, combining the enrollments of Bowden, Syphax and Amidon schools.
In 1971, Mrs. Jenkins began a business and community development consulting firm, One America Inc. The firm focused on helping agencies and companies hire and keep minority workers and find minority contractors. The firm also conducted human relations workshops for school boards, tenant organizations and community groups.
Within five years, One America was named one of the top 100 African American-owned firms in the country. Clients included the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, Potomac Electric Power Co., Food and Drug Administration, metro transit authority and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The firm also did counseling and rehabilitation work for female prisoners and conducted long-term international health-management projects in Africa. The school for women at Rikers Island Prison in New York is named in part for Mrs. Jenkins.
Mrs. Jenkins, national co-chairman of the social action committee of Delta Sigma Theta sorority, also helped create Delta Towers, a housing complex for the elderly in Washington. She chaired the Fort Lincoln Foundation, which established the Fort Lincoln "new town" in Northeast. She founded and directed a police community center in Washington and served on the Mayor's Committee for Economic Development and the D.C. Push Committee on Economic Development.
After moving to Montgomery County in 1974, she continued her work in Republican politics. She chaired the political action committee of the Montgomery County Council Coalition for Equitable Representation in Government and was the first chairman of the county's interagency board for public schools. She was appointed to the Montgomery Charter Review Commission and Blue Ribbon Committee and was vice chairman of the county Recreation Advisory Board.
Mrs. Jenkins was representative to the economic development committee of the Metropolitan Area Council of Governments, a member of the advisory committee of the Association of Mental Hygiene, a director of Women's National Bank and the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, which she helped found. She also served on the State Department's Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission and the board of Campfire Boys and Girls Potomac Area Council.
Her honors included awards from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, National Business League and other groups.
She was a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners, American Association of University Women, NAACP, Urban League, Ohio State University Alumni Association, Alpha Wives, League of Women Voters of D.C. and Montgomery County, the Bridge Builders bridge club, Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ and Plymouth Congregational Church, both in Washington.
Survivors include her husband of 59 years, Howard Jenkins Jr., a retired member of the National Labor Relations Board, of Kensington; two children, Judith Jenkins of Kensington and Lawrence Jenkins of Washington; a brother; and two grandsons.
A son, Howard Jenkins III, died in 1993.
CAPTION: GOP activist Elaine Jenkins worked actively with minority businesses.