Links Programming through adopted initiatives provides an opportunity for each of our Chapters to network within their local communities to target and serve key strategic goals that will impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and make a momentous contribution to the enduring legacy of the Links, Incorporated.
Services to Youth
“The world around us really belongs to youth, for youth will take over its future management. Our children must never lose their zeal for building a better world. They must not be discouraged from aspiring toward greatness, for they are to be the leaders of tomorrow.”
Mary McLeod Bethune’s “My Last Will and Testament” still serves today as a clarion call to train youth to become informed, full participants in the social and economic forces that will shape the future. The Links, Incorporated created its first program facet, Services to Youth, to equip African-American children to use their intellect and spirit of achievement to indeed walk with their fellows in leading the way.
Today, The Links, Incorporated continues to implement programs that are responsive to the academic, cultural, health, social awareness, career development, and mentoring needs of youth. The Services to Youth facet is an integrated approach to preparing young people to succeed in the 21st century workforce.
The primary goals of this facet are to:
- Promote early literacy
Implement local mentoring programs from kindergarten through college
Close the academic achievement gaps from kindergarten through college
Introduce and support Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.) education and career readiness
Implement college readiness programs
Increase high school and college graduation rates
Award college scholarship
The Links support of the arts can be traced to our cultured co-founder Margaret Roselle Hawkins. Her innate artistic talent, discovered at a young age, earned her a four-year scholarship to the Women’s School of Design, later known as the Moore Institute of Art. Her passion for creative expression later led to her appointment as an art teacher, and helped give root to the establishment of The Arts facet in 1964 at the 14th National Assembly.
Throughout the nation today, Links Chapters partner with museums, symphonies, arts councils, educational institutes and corporations in order to support art programs, especially where there is a focus on artists of color. Links are creating and supporting opportunities for educating minority youth in the arts and presenting and supporting performances by youth and accomplished professional artists in a diversity of disciplines.
The GOAL of The Arts facet is to increase and expand art activity, and elevate our programs through arts integration and effectively create an arts renaissance within our organization and programmatic efforts.
National Trends and Services
“Empowering People; Transforming Lives!”
The VISION of the National Trends and Services facet is to eliminate disparities by reducing barriers to services through advocacy, education, and service. Our MISSION is to empower our chapters to effectively empower the communities in which we work. Our GOALS include increasing the number of sustainable and measurable programs; increasing collaborative partnerships; and extending our initiatives to include communities identified as having the greatest need. National Trends and Services encompasses programs and committees with national partners and sponsors, each committed to the overall vision and mission of the facet. These programs serve as a catalyst for change promoting individual and community empowerment.
International Trends and Services
The mission of the International Trends and Services facet is to expand the global platform for programs designed and developed to service the educational, health and cultural needs of people of African descent throughout the world. All programmatic components of the facet are delivered through measurable and sustainable service delivery methods that reach women and their families.
The foremost goal of the International Trends and Services facet is to provide opportunities for tangible service in other countries.
Our “boots on the ground” approach provides for more personalized methods for assisting and improving the lives of women, children and men worldwide through long-term programs committed to empowerment and public policy leadership in advocating for social justice
Health and Human Services
The Links, Incorporated established the Health and Human Services facet in response to the chronic health disparities that persist in our communities and result in the decreased life expectancy of African-Americans. This new facet brings greater focus, resources, and coordination to The Links, Incorporated’s health initiatives already in existence.
With the expansion of partnerships with national health agencies, and more definitive structure and support for our health related signature programs, our mission can flourish.
The mission of the Health and Human Services facet is to promote and facilitate programs that support the maintenance of good health and the elimination of chronic health disparities in communities of color through education, health advocacy, and optimal utilization of health resources.
Community education about health risks is crucial and The Links, Incorporated can play a significant role in providing it. There has been an increase in the prevalence of cardiovascular disease and stroke in ethnic communities. Obesity, diabetes and physical inactivity are all risk factors that can be modified. African-American women are more likely to die from breast cancer and early detection would allow for effective treatment and cure. We will educate members about healthy lifestyles and disease prevention to ensure that we become models of the health behavior we ourselves hope to promote in our communities.
We’ll be guided by chapter assessments of community need, Healthy People 2020 (a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services initiative), and the goals of the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities.