When Margaret Rosell Hawkins and Sarah Strickland Scott put their heads together to create an organization to support the dreams and aspirations of Black women, they envisioned a group that would foster an appreciation for civic engagement, educational advancement, and cultural relevance.
Now, 75 years later, The Links, Inc. continues to develop that vision as one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations with a membership of some 16,000 women in 292 chapters located throughout the country and abroad.
The Links, Incorporated turns 75 on Nov. 9 and will honor its Diamond Jubilee with a virtual celebration which started on Nov. 4. Events included the presentation of The Links Medal, which was given this year to the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) for their significant and positive contributions to the lives and culture of African Americans.
“It is fitting that the Congressional Black Caucus receives this honor in our milestone year,” said Links National President Kimberly Jeffries Leonard, Ph.D., in a statement.
In addition to The Links Medal, the Links Foundation, Incorporated, the organization’s philanthropic division, donated $75,000 to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). The donation will be used to support various HBCUs whose mission is always to serve the higher education needs of Black students.
“We are mindful that this has been a challenging time for many of our HBCUs,” said Jeffries Leonard in a statement. “It’s important, particularly now, that we show our support to those who are educating our next generation of leaders. During our 2019- 2021 programming years, our chapters funded nearly 3,000 HBCU scholarships. This gift to the UNCF complements the work our chapters are already doing in their communities and further demonstrates The Links’ commitment to increasing the retention and graduation rates of students attending HBCUs.”
The gift was presented to Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D., president and CEO of UNCF during a ceremony at the 75th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee Gala and Concert, headlined by GRAMMY Award-winners Patti LaBelle and DJ Jazzy Jeff, both native to Philadelphia where The Links, Inc. was first founded.
Throughout the week, Links members have also enjoy a number of activities and presentations to strengthen their bond, commitment, and dedication to living healthy and active lifestyles.
For more information on this year’s 75th Anniversary celebration or The Links, Inc., visit www.linksinc.org.