The Links, Incorporated

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The Links, Incorporated
Founded November 9, 1946; 76 years ago (1946-11-09)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Type Social
Scope International
 United States,
 South Africa
Motto We're each a Link in friendship's chain.[1]
Colors      Green and      White
Flower White Rose[2]
Chapters 280
Headquarters 1200 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.
Washington, District of Columbia, USA
Homepage The Links, Incorporated website

The Links, Incorporated is an exclusive non-profit organization based upon the ideals of combining friendship and community service. The organization was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on November 9, 1946, from a group of ladies known as the Philadelphia Club to focus on civic, cultural, and educational endeavors.[3] The organization was formally incorporated five years later, in 1951.[4]

The Links, Incorporated consists primarily of professional African-American women. Membership is extended to candidates nominated and approved by currently active Links members. In addition, membership is also extended to daughters of active Link members, who are called "Heir-O-Links."[5] For example, Ninth National President of The Links, Incorporated, Regina Jollivette Frazier, was the first "Heir-O-Link" president in 1986.[5] Currently, the Links, Incorporated, has over 12,000 members, and 276 chapters nationally and one chapter in the Bahamas.[6][7] The Links, Incorporated celebrated their sixtieth anniversary on November 9, 2006. In honor of the achievement, commemorative medals were issued to celebrate the organization's achievements.[8]

Mission statement

Within the organization, the Links, Incorporated's overall goals are to:[4]

  • Redefine Links's purposes, sharpen its focus and expand its program dimensions in order to make Links, not only a chain of friendship, but also a chain of purposeful service.
  • Use the talent of each member to help fulfill the hopes and dreams of others.
  • Enrich and support those who are educationally disadvantaged and culturally deprived.
  • Remain committed to making history and providing hope.

Five facets of The Links, Incorporated

The Links, Incorporated focuses primarily on four strategic areas of interest ("facets"):

  • National Trends and Services: Currently, The Links sponsor Linkages to Life: Organ Tissue and Bone Marrow Donation Awareness Program, which promotes organ donation. In addition, in October 2006, the Links, donated one million dollars to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, which will be used to create "The Links Incorporated Educational and Cultural Center," promoting social and civil progress in America.[9]
  • Services for Youth: The Links, Incorporated, offers programs such as Operation SEED and "Just Say 'No'!" in order to educate youth about the perils of drug and substance abuse as well as improve the self-esteem of teens.
  • International Trends and Services: The Links are active in African and Caribbean affairs. For example, in "Education Across the Miles," the Links donated more than US$300,000 in order to build schools in South Africa and Nigeria.[10] On October 21, 2005, the Links were honored at the United Nations's 60th Anniversary Gala in New York City.[10]
  • The Arts: The Links, Incorporated, are actively involved in promoting African and African American art, in order to educate youth and adults about the artwork's significance. The art component of the Links was put into place by Link Margaret Hough and was placed into the organization in 1964 after the Links' Fourteenth National Assembly in Nassau, Bahamas.[11]
  • "'Health and Human Services:"'-The Links, Incorporated established the Health and Human Services facet in response to the chronic health disparities that persist in our communities and result in the decreased life expectancy of African-Americans. This new facet brings greater focus, resources, and coordination to The Links, Incorporated’s health initiatives already in existence. With the expansion of partnerships with national health agencies, and more definitive structure and support for our health related signature programs, our mission can flourish.


The History of the Links, Incorporated by Alpha Kappa Alpha's fourteenth President, Marjorie H. Parker. Second Edition.

The Philadelphia Club

In 1946, two homemakers, Sarah Strickland-Scott and Margaret Rosell Hawkins, had a vision to found a club for colored women which would aim to enrich the community through education and the arts.[12] As a result, on November 9, 1946, Scott and Hawkins formed the Philadelphia Club.

During its early years, meetings were held in members' homes. If a meeting was held in a member's home, she would have to serve as hostess. The Philadelphia Club was limited to fourteen members, and if a member missed a meeting, her membership would be revoked.[13] Meetings were held monthly, and dues were fifty cents per month (2005 value of $5.00,[14] according to the Consumer Price Index). Most of the Link members were also members of Jack-and-Jill, an organization for African-American mothers with young children, (now known as Jack-and Jill of America) and sought to expand the Links organization to other cities. Potential members were invited by members of the original Philadelphia Club through relatives, acquaintances, or via membership through other organizations such as the National Medical Association, the National Dental Association, the Urban League, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Original club membership

Two home-makers are credited with the group's foundation:[3]

  • Margaret Rosell Hawkins
  • Sarah Strickland-Scott

The seven original members of the club were:[3]

  • Frances Atkinson
  • Katie Murphy Green
  • Marion Minton
  • Lillian Stanford
  • Myrtle Manigault Stratton
  • Lillian Wall
  • Dorothy Wright


Before the incorporation of The Philadelphia Club, fourteen chapters were established between 1947 to 1949, which are shown below:

Clusters of The Philadelphia Club
Order Location Date Charter Members
1st[15] Atlantic City, New Jersey February 28, 1947 Leonore S. Garland, Carrie Esters, Emily Fowler, Anna Freeman, Helen Hoxter, Sara Washington-Logan, Louise Martin, Omega Mason, Edythe Marshall, Viola Murray, Isabelle Scott, and Myrtle Usry
2nd Washington, D.C. Late April 1947 Bernice Thomas, Ruth Young, Vasti Cook, Katie Harris, Anne Cook-Reid, and Eula Trigg
3rd Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1948 Jessie M. Vann, Daisy Lampkin, Jewel Blow, Lillian Brown, Betty Butler, Gladys Curtis, Lucille Cuthbert, Kathleen Douglass, Gertrude Holmes, Harriet Lewis-Jamerson, Rachael Lewis, Corinne Lindsay, Winifred Moss, Carolyn Stevenson, and Esther Summers
4th[16] St. Louis, Missouri February 20, 1948 Blanche Sinkler, Joy Blacke, Orlie Carpenter, Mary Evans, Charlotte Ford, Anna Lee Scott, and Alice Harding.
5th Petersburg, Virginia May 1948 Eunice Brown-Robbins, Cleopatara Armstrong, Ruth Baker, Gladys Bland, Alma Brown, Marietta Cephas, Gladys Green, Evelyn Jenkins, Josephine Jones, Uarda Parnell, Susie Verdell, Adelaid White, Helen Williams, and Virginia Williams
6th Wilmington, Delaware June 1948 Beulah Anderson, Edith Barton, Alice Brown, Grace Goens, Lorraine Hamilton, Ann Harris, Marjorie Hopkins, Marjorie Jackson, Sarajane Hunt, Rozelia O'Neal, Elizabeth Parker, and Sara Taylor
7th Baltimore, Maryland September 1948 Audrey Norris, Etta Phifer, Theresa Weaver, Mae Adams, Catherine Adams, Helen Burwell, Beatrice Butler, Marie Hicks, Pauline Watts, Lillian Berry, Pearl Pennington, Xaveria McDonald, and Florence Gloster
8th Rocky Mount, North Carolina (Wilson, Rocky Mount, and Tarboro) April 18, 1949 Esmerelda Rich-Hawkins, Ann Armstrong, Nan Delany-Johnson, Marguerite Armstrong, Sally Armstrong, Grace Artis, Addie Butterfield, Norma Darden, Vera Esmeralda Hawkins, Vera Shade Green, Ethel Hines, Jessie Pash, Helen Quigless, and Jennie Taylor
9th Princeton, New Jersey (Central New Jersey) May 1949 Madeline Broaddus, Lottie Lee-Dinkins, Claudine Lewis, Bernice Munce, Christine Howell, Louise Granger, Eddye Mae Shivery, and Augusta Smith
10th Dayton, Ohio May 28, 1949 Lillian Taylor, Melissa Bess, Hortense Campbell, Beatrice Darnell, Viola Finley, Remitha Ford, Bessie Jones, Ruth Lewis, Cora Peters, Margaret Robinson, Letitia Rose, Ruth Smith, Lucie Taylor, and Louise Wesley
11th[17] Harlem/New York City, New York (Greater New York) May 1949 Dorothy Reed, Bernia Austin, Myrtle Howard, Estelle Jarrott, Ethel Lowry, Emilie Pickins, Mable Trent, and Marie Vidal
12th North New Jersey June 1949 Lillian Alexander, Fannie Curtis, Mamie Jean-Darden, Elizabeth Ghee, Margurite Gross, Bessie Hill, Alvan Martin, Ella McLean, Gertrude Norris, Gladys Shirley, and Mildred Morris-Williams
13th Raleigh, North Carolina June 1949 Julia Delany, Blanche Daniels, Ruby Fisher, Amelia Hamlin, Ernestine Hamlin, Gertrude Harris, Nannie Inborden, Willie Kay, Mamie McCauley, Louise McClennan, Louise Perrin, Mildred Taylor, Geraldine Trigg, and Marguerite White

While the Raleigh chapter was founded, the group decided to nationalize. During June 1949, delegates, one representing each of the thirteen daughter chapters, met with the original members of the Philadelphia Club in Philadelphia to discuss incorporating the society and to showcase the involvement of each chapter. After the members decided to rename the group, The Links, Incorporated, one of the founders — Sarah Strickland-Scott was named as the first president.[17] The organization was incorporated on March 28, 1951.[18]

Members co-involvement with National Pan-Hellenic Council Sororities

Several members of The Links, Incorporated, are also members of the four National Pan-Hellenic Council Sororities (mainly Alpha Kappa Alpha, and Delta Sigma Theta). For example: Link Founder Sarah Strickland Scott was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority [19]

Future impact

The white rose, the official flower of The Links, Incorporated

Almost forty years after The Links's founding in Philadelphia, the Links's National President Dolly Adams honored the five living founding members of the Philadelphia Club in their home city during the 24th National Assembly,

The exclusiveness of the Links organization, as well as its selection process, helped to shape the importance and impact of each member's involvement. Most Link members are involved with professions relating to business, education, law, politics, military, government, medicine, and entertainment. For example, current Links President Gwendolyn B. Lee proclaimed December 7, 2006 a day for NASA STS-116 astronaut and fellow Link Joan Higginbotham.[23]

National Assemblies

Note: The History of The Links, Incorporated, ends the listing of the national assemblies in 1982. Also, each national assembly was held annually, until 1960, when conventions were held bi-annually.


In Link-to-Link (the organization's official newsletter), Link member Edith Hammond revealed a U.S. postal stamp during the organization's thirty-fifth convention on June 28, 2006. The stamp, entitled "Touching Tomorrow Today," marked the sixtieth anniversary of The Links, Incorporated. The illustration of the stamp shows the Links' national headquarters in Washington, D.C. The stamp is the first and only stamp honoring an African-American organization. The side inscription reads the following:

Hammond, also the designer of the stamp, revealed, "[the stamp] was an honor to create a living legacy."[27]

Donations to Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Through the implementation of the "Central Area HBCU Fund," scholarship funds were donated to historically black college and universities. The endeavor began in 2005 and assisted fourteen institutions. The largest endowed gift made by the Links was $100,000 donated to Fisk University. Shown are below are the fourteen colleges which received endowment:[28]


  1. "The Links in Action". Links, Incorporated. 2005. Retrieved 2006-07-29. |first= missing |last= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. The Links, Incorporated. The Links, Incorporated - Portsmouth, New Hampshire Chapter. Retrieved on January 21, 2007
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "About Us". The Links, Incorporated. 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-12-06. Retrieved 2007-01-07. |first= missing |last= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "The Links in Action". Angel City Links — Los Angeles, California. 2005. Archived from the original on 2006-09-24. Retrieved 2006-08-14. |first= missing |last= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Proclamation Link Regina Jollivette Frazier". Links, Incorporated. 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-01-28. Retrieved 2007-01-07. |first= missing |last= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "The Links in Action". Links, Incorporated. 2005. Retrieved 2006-07-29. |first= missing |last= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Chapters - South Africa". Links, Incorporated. 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-07. |first= missing |last= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "35th National Assembly Anniversary Items". Links, Incorporated. 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-07. |first= missing |last= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "The Links Award One Million Grant to the National Civil Rights Museum During the 2006 Freedom Award". Links, Incorporated. October 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-02-27. Retrieved 2007-02-10. |first= missing |last= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 "International Trends and Services". Links, Incorporated. 2005. Archived from the original on 2006-05-03. Retrieved 2006-07-30. |first= missing |last= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Arts". Links, Incorporated. 2005. Archived from the original on 2006-05-03. Retrieved 2006-07-30. |first= missing |last= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "The Links: women's organization celebrates 50th anniversary - African American civic organization founded by Sarah Scott and Margaret Hawkins in Philadelphia, PA". Ebony. Johnson Publishing Company. 1996-06-01. Retrieved 2007-01-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 "The Links, Incorporated — About Us, Page 2". Links, Incorporated. 2005. Retrieved 2007-01-08. |first= missing |last= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link] Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "link16" defined multiple times with different content
  14. "Five Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a U.S. Dollar Amount, 1790 - 2005". Measuring 2005. Retrieved 2007-01-08. |first= missing |last= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "About Us—Page 4". The Links, Incorporated. 2005. Retrieved 2007-01-09. |first= missing |last= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  16. "About Us—Page 5". The Links, Incorporated. 2005. Retrieved 2007-01-09. |first= missing |last= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  17. 17.0 17.1 "About Us—Page 6". The Links, Incorporated. 2005. Retrieved 2007-01-09. |first= missing |last= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  18. Portsmouth Chapter, The Links, Incorporated. History. Retrieved on January 21, 2007.
  19. 19.0 19.1
  20. "Katie Murphy Green". Links, Incorporated. 2005. Archived from the original on 2006-05-02. Retrieved 2006-07-29. |first= missing |last= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "President Vaughn". Links, Incorporated. 2006. Retrieved 2007-02-25. |first= missing |last= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  23. "Proclamation Joan E. Higginbotham Day". Links, Incorporated. 2006-12-07. Retrieved 2007-01-07. |first= missing |last= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. "Link Sarah Strickland Scott". Links, Incorporated. 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-10-07. Retrieved 2007-01-08. |first= missing |last= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "Cocktail Chitchat," Jet Magazine, page 30. July 27, 1992. Chicago (IL): Johnson Publishing Company.
  26. Carney, Beth and Dezell, Maurene "Taylor takes on the millennium." The Boston Globe. Page D2, Living Section. July 3, 1998. Boston (MA): Globe Newspaper Company.
  27. "Link-to-Link" (PDF). Links, Incorporated. Spring 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-06-20. Retrieved 2007-04-07. |first= missing |last= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


  • Parker, Marjorie H. (1982). [1st edition] The History of Links, Incorporated. Washington, D.C.: National Headquarters of The Links, Incorporated. 116 pages. Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN): 82-81579.
  • Parker, Marjorie H. (1992). [2nd edition] A History of Links, Incorporated. Washington, D.C.: National Headquarters of The Links, Incorporated. 194 pages.

External links