by Jonathan Reyes
Reginald “Reggie” Roberts, a member of B-PEP, the Coalition Against Violence, Ceasefire PA and several other non-profit organizations, recently received the David E. Epperson Award, named for the late longtime Dean of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work.
Reggie works tirelessly, but not for any man or reward. “I’m not looking for a ‘good job’, ‘thank you’, or ‘award’, I can’t take none of that stuff with me when I’ve gone to glory,” explains Reggie.
He does it because that is simply where god has set his heart, which he wears on his sleeve as he asks an audience to hug their children when they go home from uncle “Reg” or grandpa, part of his pledge to look at all children as his own especially after Sandy Hooks tragedy. “I’m old school and people don’t like the fact that I don’t know how to sugarcoat. I tell it how it is, but I’m a big teddy bear, and the easiest way to hurt me is through my kids.” The solemn words left a gloss in the eyes of many, even people like me who have heard the story before. A gentle giant with harmless values in troubled times, Reggie testifies his life and heart to anyone within reach or reason and gives all glory to God.
The late David E. Epperson was a well known black social worker, or as Pittsburgh liked to call him, a social reformer. His goal was to eliminate the problems he ran into as he pursued his career to pave the way for future diverse social workers.
Rising in his deep-casted and humbled shadow were hundreds of non-profit organizations from Pittsburgh, with a reach extending as far as Bangkok. Rising to receive Talk Magazine’s Black History Month Merit Award was David E. Epperson’s daughter and well known Journalist, Sharon Epperson, who spoke in honor of her father.
Also receiving awards for their outstanding community work were William Anderson, Rev. Maureen Cross Bolden, Matthew Moore Jr., and Brenda Tate.
Jonathan Reyes is a member of the Editorial Collective as well as a member of Coalition Against Violence, B-PEP and CeaseFirePA.