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The Links, Incorporated


September 18, 2001

The Chicago, Illinois Chapter of The Links, Incorporated: 50 Years of Friendship and Service was produced in 2001 to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Chicago, Illinois Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, an African American women's organization devoted to community service. Members of The Links, including some of the original founders of the Chicago Chapter of The Links, reflected on the early days of the organization and celebrated its dramatic growth. Members of the Chicago Links Chapter spoke of the group’s continued volunteerism and service to local and international causes, particularly the arts, youth and education.

Illustrated with historic photographs from the Chicago Chapter’s archives, housed at the Carter G. Woodson Vivian Harsh Collection, this program was spearheaded by Links members Mercedes Laing and Donna Williams and featured interviews with Glenda Ashley, Karen Ashley-Bowman, Clarabelle Claiborne, Wilmarene Collins, Patricia Devine-Reed, Dorothy Harrison, Mildred Kerr, Mercedes Laing, Wilma Lights, Frances Matlock, Marjorie Mims, Frances Moore-Bond, Faye Price, Silas Purnell, Gladys Smith, Thelma Smith, Beulah Stamps, Connie van Brunt, Lillian Ward, Donna Williams, and Ruth "Teena" Williams.


  • Glenda Ashley
  • Patricia Devine-Reed
  • Wilma Lights
  • Faye Price
  • Beulah Stamps
  • Ruth "Teena" Williams
  • Karen Ashley-Bowman
  • Dorothy Harrison
  • Frances Matlock
  • Silas Purnell
  • Connie van Brunt
  • Clarabelle Claiborne
  • Mildred Kerr
  • Marjorie Mims
  • Gladys Smith
  • Lillian Ward
  • Wilmarene Collins
  • Mercedes Laing
  • Frances Moore-Bond
  • Thelma Smith
  • Donna Williams

Background on the Links

The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. The membership consists of over 15,000 professional women of color in 288 chapters located in 42 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 1 million 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 Links
1957 Central Area Meeting
1959 Bridge Party Fundraiser
1959 Connecting Links
1995 Chicago Chapter
1995 Heir-O-Links Ceremony
1983 Chicago Links Leader