SeniorLAW Center to Honor LGBT/AIDS Activist David Fair in First-Ever “6 Over 60” Awards


David-FairYou’ve likely seen the lists recognizing the hard-earned (but usually warranted) accomplishments of young folks, whether its “30 under 30,” or the even more head-slapping “25 under 25,” but it’s not too often that we see similar lists recognizing the work of older folks. Maybe “60 under 60” seems like too daunting of a task, but SeniorLAW Center, a local nonprofit working to protect the legal rights and interests of the elderly, is making it simpler and giving it a shot in their brand new “6 Over 60” Awards.

The awards will be handed out next Thursday, May 14th, at a gala in the Crystal Tea Room of the Wanamaker Building. The honorees include a handful of senior go-getters who have done everything from advocate for kids and public education to serve on the Superior Court of Pennsylvania and, in the interest of our readers, fight for the rights of the LGBT and AIDS communities. The fellow being honored in that latter category is David Fair (pictured).

Fair has been working since the 1970s to carve out a safe space for Philadelphia’s LGBT community, with a particular focus on HIV/AIDS victims and the homeless. He founded the Philadelphia Gay Cultural Festival in the 1970s, the Philadelphia Lesbian and Gay Task Force in the ’80s, and, in the early-’90s, We the People Living With AIDS/HIV. More on the impact of those groups and his other accomplishments from SeniorLAW:

David Fair has had a long career in both the public and nonprofit health and human services sector, having led major projects in the AIDS, child welfare and behavioral health fields. David has had a major impact on his communities throughout his life. In his younger years he was the founder of several early LGBT organizations in the 1970s, including the first Philadelphia Gay Cultural Festival and the Philadelphia Lesbian and Gay Task Force, and in the 1980s he was a visionary leader who built one of the strongest local AIDS service systems in the nation, one designed to serve the most vulnerable among those at risk of HIV disease. He was at the time also a fierce advocate for the homeless, leading a major effort to engage homeless people with AIDS in the early 90s through We The People Living with AIDS/HIV.

In the late 90s David built an extensive school-based mental health services program that ultimately served over 100 public schools, helping to organize the first publicly-funded efforts to support kinship families. In the early 2000s he led the creation of a $100m network of community based youth services aimed at preventing child abuse and neglect, creating over 200 programs offering after school, truancy prevention, family support and parenting education programs. At United Way starting in 2005 he led a major transformation in the organization’s funding methods, aimed at supporting agencies with high quality outcomes. He currently is a leader in the creation of an innovate initiative to reform child welfare efforts in Philadelphia, focusing on children and families in West, Southwest and Lower Northeast Philadelphia. David has served on many nonprofit boards and in addition to several government roles, as Senior Vice President for Community Impact of United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Fair currently works as the deputy chief executive officer of Turning Points for Children, an organization that works to ensure that “all children grow up in a nurturing and protective family environment that provides them with the framework to make positive choices and become healthy, productive, and self-sufficient adults.”

Join him and his fellow honorees next week, when they receive the first-ever “6 Over 60” awards. More information on the other award winners and the event itself can be found here.