Vanessa “V. J.” Roberts fights for those who don’t have a voice or who are facing challenges so great that their voices are silenced. RUVA – Raising Understanding Via Art is her partnership with Rubye Feagins and opportunity to give back to the community.
VJ worked for TSYS, a credit card processing company, for over eighteen years where she developed, implemented and evaluated training for clients and team members on the multiple credit card processing systems. For four years and 50 episodes, she co-hosted the TSYS internal talk show, “The TSYS Life” for team member engagement.
V. J. has taught teen and pre-teen students to act on camera using theatre games and activities at the Springer Opera House and served on the Board of Directors. She performed in the productions of, “Amazing Grace” for schools in the Springer’s Theatre Academy. She performed in “To Kill A Mockingbird” and “Doubt”. Favorite roles include “Sister Marlow” in the play, “The Old Ship of Zion” performed at the National Naval Museum; “Millie” in Stimulus at the Liberty Theatre; and “Titania” in “Midsummer Night’s Dream”.
In 1998 she moved from Los Angeles, CA to marry her college friend, Oz Roberts. In LA, V. J. worked as a principal actress and stand-in on numerous film and television projects including “Living Single”, “Profiler”, “E. R.”, “Moesha”, “In the House” and “Malcolm & Eddie”. Currently she is a “pageant Mom”. Oz and VJ are the proud parents of 14 year-old, Jessica N. Roberts, who is the reigning Miss Hummingbird Festival’s Outstanding Teen.
V. J. is a 2014 Women of Distinction. An honor bestowed by the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia. A 2015 Women of Courage in the Arts Honoree presented by the S.I.S.T.E.R.S, Inc. She has a Toastmaster for 17 years and a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), the highest designation that can be earned.
She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. – Columbus Alumnae Chapter, Jack & Jill of America, Inc., and First African Baptist Church where she sings in the choir and ushers.
V. J. is a 2010 Breast Cancer survivor and credits West Central Georgia Cancer Coalition/Paint the Town Pink with encouraging her to speak and fight during her treatment and recovery. V. J. spends much time and energy telling others that there is life and hope in all situations.