Tag Archives: performing arts

A Tireless Worker for Peace & Justice

Rev. Delores
Rev. Delores M. Roberts-Mason Dec. 28, 1942 – Nov. 16, 2015

In celebration of Dr. King’s holiday, I want to honor the Rev. Delores M. Roberts-Mason, who dedicated her life  to “the least, the last and the lost,” empowering children through reading, performing arts, education and religion.

Mrs. Roberts-Mason was a natural at empowerment. She pursued her first degree  while her two children were young, and took them with her to campus on weekends. “I want them to assume they belong in university,” she told me.

The list of Delores’ accomplishments is long.  during her 30 years with DC DHS she touched many lives, uplifting, educating, encouraging and empowering families who had fallen on hard times. Her testimony before the House and Senate Select Committee on Aging in 1989 was helped pass legislation protecting seniors. Howard University honored her as an Outstanding Woman of Washington for her work with young people.

When I met Delores in 2004, she was the head of Zoe Life Ministries, a faith-based youth empowerment organization that ran reading, performing arts and non-violence programs with area kids.

Armed with only volunteers, Rev. Delores and the Zoe Kids & Teens Theater Group wrote, produced and performed numerous musicals including Day of Reckoning, Heart of an Angel, Why and more. The typical production took 2 years from script to performance. Dedicated volunteers worked with the kids on dance, acting and music. But it was Rev. Delores who recruited, wrote, rallied and wrangled the entire magnificent enterprise into being.

RevRobtsPeaceSummit2011
Rev. Delores Roberts-Mason at the Walker Mill Middle School Peace Summit 2011

The Teen Peace Summit was a special school day dedicated to violence prevention held at Walker Mill Middle School in Capital Heights, MD.  Tapping her extensive network of professionals in many fields for leaders, Rev. Delores created a dozen or more break-out sessions with topics like Conflict Resolution, How to Say NO, Seeing One Another through Art, and more on the morning of this special day. The afternoon saw awards presented to students for accomplishments in writing, speaking and art.

Rev. Delores had many gifts, but perhaps the most important was the ability to help people open up and share the best part of themselves. She touched many lives in her work, certainly my own. I believe she had the heart of an angel.

You can listen to a beautiful radio tribute to Rev. Delores here:
MPI celebrates the life of Rev. Delores M. Roberts-Mason

If this story moves you, give more of yourself to those in need, from the heart. It’s what Rev. Delores would have encouraged you to do.

 

 

Art Saves Lives

Rev. Delores Roberts

I want to introduce you to one of my clients, someone who’s passion, faith and creativity is dedicated to the children of Metropolitan DC.

Reverend Delores Roberts is the founder and director of Zoe Life Ministries, a non-profit organization devoted to improving the lives and education of disadvantaged kids. Starting in her home community of Capitol Heights, MD, Rev. Roberts has created literacy and arts programs for kids of all ages. Her tireless commitment to her work is inspiring, and her creativity is evident in everything she does.

Zoe Life Ministries now runs a book club, a performing arts program and the Stop-the-Violence Teen Peace Summit, in addition to developing the I-read program and other special projects. Right now she is in the final rehearsals for her latest stage musical “Day of Reckoning” opening December 3rd. You can see rehearsal videos and find updated news about the show here.

Rev. Roberts introduces Essay Contest winners

Reverend Delores is a people-person. She works with kids of all ages and does it from the heart, every moment.  A recent post on her blog describes meeting an angel at Staples! The Reverend inspires her kids to read, write, draw, dance and sing, and it’s been very inspiring for me to watch her work her special magic.

But learning to edit a web site and publish her own blog was really challenging to her at first. I am so proud of her persistance and accomplishment on the revitalized Zoe Life Ministries website we set up together.

Now Rev. Delores keeps a blog about her projects and community events, as well as encouraging discussion of the issues that challenge our children every day.

This Friday, Zoe Life Ministries is celebrating ten years of inspiring programs that lift up “the least, the last and the lost.” The Tenth Anniversary Fundraising Gala and Zoe Awards promises to be another special event with special performances by Zoe Kids, Awards honoring members who have brought life to the community, a delicious feast and more.

I’d like to invite you to come along and support this amazing organization. I know schedules are full and budgets are tight, but I would for you to be there, or at least make a donation to Rev. Delores’ work.

Here’s how you can join the celebration:

Tickets for the Gala are $50 for adults and $20 for children under 12. Tax deductible donations of any size are welcome. Call Zoe Life Ministries at 301/350-0688, email zoelife3@gmail.com, and/or send a donation to  910-Applewood St, Capitol Hgts,MD 20743.

I’ll see you there!