The Links, Incorporated
About The Links, Incorporated
Established in 1946 by a circle of nine friends in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, The Links, Incorporated is a premier 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. Celebrating over 70 years, the friendship chain has grown to nearly 16,000 professional women of color in 289 chapters in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and the United Kingdom. Its legacy of friends providing service that changes lives, established by the original circle of nine friends in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1946, is alive and well.
Dedicated to its mission of service and leadership, The Links, Incorporated’s members are corporate and civic leaders; lawmakers and judiciary; medical and healthcare providers; role models, mentors, activists and volunteers working tirelessly at the forefront of transforming communities of color. Working closely with sponsors, partners and supporters, The Links, Incorporated develops and implements transformational programming impacting lives in communities of color.
The key programming initiatives of The Links, Incorporated are organized into facets: Services to Youth, The Arts, National Trends and Services, International Trends and Services, and Health and Human Services. With more than five million service hours recorded in the past three years, The Links, Incorporated’s members regularly contribute more than 500,000 documented service hours in their respective communities annually through various programs.
The Links Foundation, Incorporated, the philanthropic arm of The Links, Incorporated has distributed more than $26 million in charitable contributions since its founding in 1979. 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 Links, Incorporated: “Linked in Friendship, Connected in Service.”
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Meet the Founders
On the evening of November 9, 1946, Margaret Roselle Hawkins and Sarah Strickland Scott, two young Philadelphia visionaries, invited seven of their friends to join them in organizing a new type of inter-city club. This organizing meeting of The Links was not a spontaneous action. In 1945, Link Hawkins had conceived the idea of a group of clubs composed of friends along the eastern seaboard and had spent many hours with Link Scott in thinking, planning and discussing the possibilities of such an endeavor.
The two women envisioned an organization that would respond to the needs and aspirations of Black women in ways that existing clubs did not. It was their intent the club would have a threefold aim–civic, educational, and cultural. Based on these aims, the club would implement programs, which its founders hoped would foster cultural appreciation through the arts; develop richer inter-group relations; and help women who participated to understand and accept their social and civic responsibilities. Besides the two founders, the original members of the Philadelphia Club were Links Frances Atkinson, Katie Green, Marion Minton, Lillian Stanford, Myrtle Manigault Stratton, Lillian Wall, and Dorothy Wright. The club elected Margaret Roselle Hawkins as president, Sarah Strickland Scott as vice president, Myrtle Manigault Stratton as recording secretary, Frances Atkinson as corresponding secretary, and Dorothy Wright as treasurer.