The Links, Incorporated, is an international nonprofit established in 1946 with a membership of more than 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.
Their core values are friendship and service, and they are focused on five program areas: services to youth, the arts, national trends and services, international trends and services, and health and human services. The members of The Links are influential decision makers and opinion leaders who work towards a common vision by engaging like-minded organizations and individuals for partnership.
The Dayton Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, was founded in 1949, making it the first chapter chartered in Ohio and the second chapter chartered in the central area of the United States. The Links are dedicated to positive, impactful, and productive projects which contribute to the educational, civic and intercultural growth of the Dayton community. Since its founding, The Dayton Chapter of The Links has donated more than $1 million to organizations in the Miami Valley and delivered more than 2,000 hours of community service.
Notable projects include establishing the Hospice of Dayton Caring Touch Salon, starting the African-American Community Fund Scholarship Endowment for Wilberforce University and Central State University students, and furthering the Books Alive! Literacy program for elementary students that simultaneously provides support for refugee and newly-immigrated children.
Writes their nominator: “The Links do not just live the mission of YWCA; collectively, its members embody the mission. The Dayton Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, has been a steadfast civic organization in the Dayton community for more than 65 years. It continues to provide charitable community grants to organizations that promote equality, improve the quality of life for women and children, and encourage and empower women and girls to be competent and strong leaders, change agents, and advocates for humanity.”
To date, 11 members of The Links have been recognized as YWCA Dayton Women of Influence, and two members have served on the YW Board of Directors.