THE LINKS LEGACY
On November 9, 1946 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Margaret Roselle Hawkins and Sarah Strickland Scott, two friends, invited seven of their other friends to discuss forming a new type of club to respond to the needs of African Americans in the aftermath of World War II. There were other clubs in existence, but the two women envisioned a service-oriented organization that would have a three-fold purpose – to promote civic, educational and cultural concerns – and to lead Black women in postwar America. They wanted to respond to the concerns of civil rights and racial injustices. The seven friends invited to join them were Frances V. Atkinson, Katie M. Greene, Marion Minton, Myrtle Manigault Stratton, Lillian C. Stanford, Lillian H. Wall and Dorothy B. Wright. These women set in motion an irreversible series of events.
Based on the threefold-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. Through the years the organization has expanded and refined its mission and membership, endured social and racial upheavals and today is an organization of 270 chapters with a diverse membership that uses it considerable resources to improve the quality of life for others. This organization has over 12,000 friends who have committed themselves to be “linked in friendship” and give service through the organization’s five program facets: