The Links, Incorporated is an international, non-profit volunteer service organization. Built upon a legacy of friends and providing service that changes lives, the organization is committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the cultural and economic survival of African Americans. Over 70 years, the friendship chain has grown to more than 16,000 professional women of African descent in 299 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and the United Kingdom.
Linked in Friendship
The Links, Incorporated defines itself as a group of friends committed to educational, cultural, and civic activities, with the singular purpose of serving community needs for the improvement of life and the pursuit of excellence. The co-founders envisioned an inter-city club to support a relationship among women which would bring together--that is--link talents with needed services, seekers with targets, and abilities and resources with hopes and ambitions. They also assumed that these activities would take place within the setting of small groups with memberships intertwined through mutual friends and friends of friends.
Our 12th National President Barbara Dixon Simpkins called “Friendship” the road map on the Links’ “journey of service.” 14th National President Gwendolyn B. Lee affirms that friendship will always keep members strongly connected and fruitful: “We will always be mindful of the fact that the cornerstone of our great organization is friendship. Our founders had the insight and vision to know that a circle of loving friends, with a clear mission and commitment to service, has the power to positively impact critical issues affecting people of African descent.”
The Links, Incorporated is a circle of accomplished friends passionate about making a difference. We are friends committed to providing world-class service. We are unapologetic women zealously and indomitably "Linked in Friendship, Connected in Service."
Connected in Service
One of the best ways to measure the effectiveness of any organization is to look at its programming—how its goals are defined, the attitude of members toward program activities, and the actual impact in community. Service defines The Links, Incorporated and it creates a foundation for a giving and caring organization.
The Links, Incorporated’s award-winning programs are designed to:
Close the achievement gap from pre-K through college and equip young people to succeed in the 21st century workforce
Increase and expand art activity
Use advocacy and education to address the greatest needs domestically in homes, schools and the workplace
Empower women and their families on the ground in other countries
Promote good health and eliminate chronic health disparities that disproportionately affect communities of color, particularly African-American women.
Our programming success is the universe of participation. Member engagement is integral to implementing our Program Facets. The Links members are news makers, role models, mentors, activists and volunteers who work toward the realization of making the name “Links” not only a chain of friendship, but also a chain of purposeful service.
Photo courtesy of Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity