The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. The membership consists of 16,000 professional women of color in 288 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and the United Kingdom. It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of extraordinary women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry.
Our Core Values are Friendship, Integrity, Honesty, Service, Commitment, Family Relationships, Courage, Respect for Self and Others, Legacy, Confidentiality, Responsibility and Accountability. The members of The Links, Incorporated are influential decision makers and opinion leaders. The Links, Incorporated has attracted many distinguished women who are individual achievers and have made a difference in their communities and the world. They are business and civic leaders, role models, mentors, activists and volunteers who work towards a common vision by engaging like-minded organizations and individuals for partnership. Links members contribute more than 500,000 documented hours of community service annually – strengthening their communities and enhancing the nation. The organization is the recipient of awards from the UN Association of New York and the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation for its premier programs.
The outstanding programming of The Links, Incorporated has five facets which include National Trends and Services, The Arts, Services to Youth, International Trends and Services, and Health and Human Services. The programs are implemented through strategies such as public information and education, economic development, and public policy campaigns.
The Inception of Links
On the evening of November 9, 1946, Margaret Hawkins and Sarah Scott, two young Philadelphia matrons, invited seven of their friends to join them in organizing a new type of inner-city club. The two women envisioned an organization that would respond to the needs and aspirations of African- American women in ways that existing clubs did not.
The co-founders embraced a three-fold purpose for The Links. The members would contribute to the civic, educational and cultural milieu, and this direction persists today. Based on these purposes, The Links would implement programs which its founders hoped would foster cultural appreciation through the arts, through development of richer inter group relations, and through the participation of women in social and civic responsibilities.
Toledo (OH) Chapter Installation ~ 1972
The Toledo (OH) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated was established on October 21, 1972 with Link Laura Palmer as the founding president. Installation was held at the Toledo Press Club with Link Fannie Wilson of the sponsoring chapter, Northern Indiana, who conducted the installation service. The 12 charter members were: Ernestine Butler, Richardene Chadwell, Faye Fenwick, Jacquelyn Gray, Mildred Harrison, Marietta Leverette, Olivia Murphy, Charlie B. Nunn, Marion Nunn, Laura Palmer, Marianne Payne and Odessa Rowan. The first fundraiser, the Emerald Ball, was held in 1973 at the Sheraton Hotel and adopted as the biennial fundraiser. Proceeds from ensuing balls and other fundraising efforts enabled the chapter to support art-focused events and implement educational programming for youth and their families in the urban community.
Toledo (OH) Chapter
Current membership includes 30 active members and 22 alumna dedicated to making a difference in our community.