David Blair has spent the better part of a lifetime promoting peace and social justice around the world. His motivation is deeply spiritual.
"I love Martin Luther King, Jr.'s phrase, ‘the beloved community,' " David says. "I think our mission on earth is to help the beloved community to be born in whatever way our particular gifts allow us to do that."
David grew up in New Jersey and often visited Quaker relatives in North Carolina. In fact, his father gave the family home in High Point, North Carolina, to the Service Committee. But it has been his stalwart commitment to peace, nonviolence, and social justice that has led David to stay engaged with AFSC.
In the summer of 1969, for example, David took part in AFSC's Tripartite Program, which he says had a deep impact on him personally. The program helped increase international understanding as young people from England, Russia, and the U.S. lived together and worked on specific projects.
"That was an opportunity to meet and be with people from different cultures, life experiences, and opinions," David says. "It was a chance to interact with people with whom you may not agree, yet we can still live and work together."
Later, in the early 1990s, he co-directed AFSC's program in Vietnam with Linda Marsella. David is also a longtime AFSC donor who has left the organization a bequest in his will. "I hope this gift will help AFSC create the beloved community in whatever way the organization thinks is appropriate," he says.
He encourages others to think about how they can provide similar support. "It's especially important that younger donors do their part, and that our children prepare to do their part," he adds.