The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. The membership consists of 12,000 professional women of color in 270 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 Links, Inc. has attracted many distinguished women who are individual achievers and have made a difference in their communities and the world. Link 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 four facets which include National Trends and Services, The Arts, Services to Youth and International Trends and Services. The programs are implemented through strategies such as public information and education, economic development, and public policy campaigns.
The San Diego Chapter of the Links, Inc. was chartered in 1957 with 14 members: Lillian Burt, the late Sadie Crawford, the late Ruth Green, Quincella Kimbrough, Catherine Montgomery, the late Dr. Hazel Morse, the late Fannie Payne, the late June Powdrill, the late Hazel Ragsdale, Mercedes Ritchey, the late Ruth Ritchey, the late Madeline Singleton, the late Hortense White and the late Lucille Young. Over the decades service projects have included financial and volunteer support of the local Urban League, the San Diego Girls Club, the Eddie Edwards Art Studio, the Southeast Community Theater and the Southeast Community Youth Orchestra, the Elementary Institute of Science, and UNCF among others.
The San Diego Chapter members are committed to educational, cultural and civic activities. Forty-Two active members and nine alumnae members continue to sharpen its focus and expand its program dimensions in order to make links not only a chain of friendship, but also a chain of purposeful service.
The year 1987 marked the inception of our signature project, The Achiever Program. Since that date, over 600 African American male high school seniors have participated in the six month program of enrichment activities designed to facilitate college preparedness and to develop leadership skills. Members of the San Diego Chapter of the Links, Inc. participate in fund raising activities throughout the club year to insure the success of The Achiever Program.