Dayton Peace Hero – 2014
Community leader John E. Moore Sr. was born in Birmingham, Alabama, on January 11, 1923. He and his family moved to Dayton the following year, and Dayton has been his home ever since. John attended Dayton Public Schools, and then studied business administration at the University of Dayton and the Ohio State University graduate center located in Dayton. He served in the Army Air Corps for three years and is a veteran of World War II. John worked at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base until his retirement in 1979. Over his 35 years as a civilian employee, he rose to the position of chief of civilian personnel.
After his retirement, John began volunteering in the community, stepping into leadership roles that promoted justice and peace. His experiences in the military and in civilian life — before the passage of Civil Rights — served as motivation.
“You didn’t need much inspiration to know that there was a problem,” John said in an interview with the Peace Museum.
In his work as a volunteer, John has stressed the importance of diversity and the need for inclusion and equal opportunity.
“If you have diversity and equality and respect for one another, the fiber of the community is much stronger, and the economics are better,” John said, adding, “You have less peace when you have separation and lack of contact.”
John has provided leadership to many organizations in the Dayton community, including the Dayton Foundation, the Out-of-School Youth Task Force, and the Montgomery County Job Center.
As chair of the Dayton Foundation governing board, John helped develop the African-American Community Fund, which sourced contributions from the African-American community. In the past 20 years, the fund has contributed more than $5 million to local non-profits. As an executive committee member of the Out-of-School Youth Task Force, John helped dropouts find new, alternative educational programs. He also helped develop strategies to keep children in school and interested in learning. The Montgomery County Job Center (which John helped form) has grown to be the largest employment and training center in the United States. It serves half a million customers each year, and it has gained international recognition for its success.
Of his accomplishments, John is most proud of the Dayton-Montgomery County Scholarship Program, which awards between 600–700 scholarships each year, and the Mound Street Academies, which successfully cut its dropout rate by half in five years.
John remains active in the community. He is currently working on a project to strengthen the Mary Scott Nursing Center. When asked what he plans to do next, he laughed and said, “At 92, you don’t make long-range plans.”
The Dayton International Peace Museum named John a Peace Hero in 2014 in honor of his leadership in youth, education, health, and civil rights.