The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. The membership consists of 12,000 professional women of color in 276 chapters located in 42 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. 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.
The members of The Links, Incorporated are influential decision makers and opinion leaders. The Links, Inc. 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.
In 1976, Middlesex County became the 144th Chapter of The Links, Inc. The chapter organizers were Jean Challenger Hurd, Patricia Hardiman Long, J.D., Helen Boulware Moore, Maxine Pierce and Ida White and along with following 15 other women, chartered Middlesex County. Middlesex County Chapter members are linked by “friendship and service” and over the past 30 years have celebrated many chapter milestones.
Middlesex County celebrated its 10th year by commissioning the now famous artist, Paul Goodnight, to do a painting commemorating the connectedness of African American women. Goodnight’s interpretation of this work depicts three generations of African American women. Entitled “Links & Lineage”, this work has become our legacy to African American women.
The Chapter was distinguished at the Philadelphia Regional Conference in 1997 when it was invited to present to the Area Arts Assembly the strategic plan and implementation for the “Links & Lineage” project. This project was viewed as a model for other chapters and a unique way to fulfill our national program facet in the Arts.
For many years, the Middlesex County Chapter raised funds through its sponsorship of Le Casino Grande, an elegant black tie event that included dining, dancing, games of chance and a silent auction. Always a popular event with our friends and constituents, proceeds from the events have enabled the Chapter to make sizable financial contributions to the prevention of breast cancer, pediatric AIDS and substance abuse treatment for women. More recently, Middlesex County invited Jennifer Holiday to perform a benefit concert. The proceeds allowed us to make a $10,000 donation to Casa Myrna Vasquez, a local shelter for women.
The Chapter’s 20th anniversary celebration was an occasion for giving back to so many who have supported our civic endeavors. Joined by loyal friends and family at the Henderson House in Weston, we spent an elegant afternoon celebrating with our guests and thanking them for 20 years of consistent and dedicated support.
We celebrated 25 years with a concert performance of “Three Mo’ Tenors” followed by a champagne reception and auction. Proceeds from that event supported the Henry Buckner School, Peace Games and The Mary McLeod Bethune Institute for Young Women.
We kicked off our 30th anniversary celebration with a reception and private viewing of “Dreamgirls”. We continued the celebration when we moved the “Links & Lineage” painting to Wheelock College from Milton Academy. The event was marked by a wonderful afternoon reception. We continued our proud legacy of supporting programs that enhance the lives of women and children of color and committed to provide funding and programming to the Brookview House for the next few years. This facility is located in Dorchester, Massachusetts and provides a ‘whole family’ approach to breaking the generational cycles of homelessness, abuse and poverty. The revenue generated from our fundraising events provided resources for Brookview House and funded our college scholarship programs.
As we go forward we honor our past, celebrate our present, and prepare for our future!
Helen Boulware Moore
Julia Windom Monroe
Jackie Benson Jones
Jacqueline Fields, Ph.D.
Anne Bell, M.D.
Donna Levy Wray
Michele Gibbons-Carr, Ph.D.
Evelyn Sanders Haye
Cheryl Bell Homer
Carolyn Golden Hebsgaard