Programs and Services

The Linkdom commitment to community services is through four main facets. Areas and chapters embrace programs that combine the effective coordination of all four facets into a “full umbrella program.”

From the inception of The Links Incorporated, the organization has addressed its community service through its threefold purpose in the areas of educational, civic and intercultural commitment using program facets. The program facets are:

  • National Trends and Services
  • International Trends and Services
  • The Arts
  • Services to Youth
  • Health and Human Services

Our organization depends upon the manpower, expertise and commitment of its members to fulfill this mission. Thus, in keeping with our commitment, several focus areas have been developed over the years that allow the organization to live up to its promise in an organized and strategic manner that fosters the greatest positive impact to the communities it serves.

National Trends and Services

The National Trends and Services facet is one that allows members a variety of choices in implementing programs that meet the needs of the people in our communities. Across the country, chapters serve their communities by individually and collectively addressing issues and concerns for the betterment of those whom they serve. Linkages with other organizations have strengthened this resolve. Areas and issues that have been of particular interest to members include: educational access, poverty, unemployment, spousal abuse, voter registration, crime in the Black community, leadership, citizenship and civic engagement, consumer education, housing, nutrition, economics, education, the survival of Black colleges, health and wellness, senior citizens, the Black family, women’s issues and more.

Throughout our history, chapters have found creative and unique ways in which to share their resources and skills to meet the challenging issues of the times. A variety of forums have been presented to showcase talent and bring public attention to critical issues of the day. Conferences, seminars, leadership forums, workshops, mobile units, volunteer service, monetary contributions, voter registration drives, media presentations and position papers are but a few of the mechanisms used for education, and service delivery, in order to bring public attention to vital issues.

International Trends and Services

The International Trends and Services facet was originally included under National Trends and Services. However, in 1970, the International Trends and Services facet was separated from National Trends and was established as an ad hoc committee. The 1978 assembly voted full status to the International Trends and Services program facet. The major goal of the International Trends and Services facet is to insure that each Link will have a greater awareness of international events, affairs, and issues through personal involvement, commitment, and enrichment in the following program areas:

  1. United Nations and Human Rights Day Observances
  2. Great Issues Discussions
  3. Financial Assistance to the Cause of Internationalism
  4. Special Services to Foreign Guests
  5. Personal Enrichment through International Travel
  6. Information on International Issues
  7. African Water Wells Project
  8. Haitian Refugee Issues
  9. Building Schools in South Africa
  10. Health and Human Services

Projects implemented under the early beginnings of International Trends and Services facet are still a part of the national program thrust. The Links render services and assistance to global friends, especially those living in African and Caribbean countries. This facet provides an opportunity to meet the challenges that lie ahead as the program’s horizons are expanded through the following activities:

  • Increasing involvement and participation in international affairs for bridging “Linkages. Toward the Possible” for people on a global basis;
  • Providing information on international issues related to the political, economic, and cultural matters involving African and Caribbean countries;
  • Supporting international organizations on the local, national, and international levels;
  • Continuing to provide substantial financial support to the African Water Wells Project throughout the International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade (1981-1990) and beyond;
  • Collaborating with other organizations in sponsoring international projects whose goals are similar, and being actively involved in exploring, developing, and initiating community support programs for the adjustment and rehabilitation of Haitian nationals.
  • Supporting foreign students who are studying at American colleges and universities and encouraging their participation in international dialogue.
    Providing financial support for the building of schools in South Africa in order to ensure education for children of Africa and the Diaspora (global village) and integrating this into the curriculum of The House of Lands and Peoples in the National Program Links to Success: Children Achieving Excellence.

The Arts

The goals of Links’ concentration on The Arts and their creators obviously are manifold. The specific goals are:

  1. To enhance the knowledge and appreciation of youth and adults for the fine arts.
  2. To assist chapters in search of new approaches for their national Links’ project.
  3. To give Links another area of programming which highlights and educates the community on the contributions of the African American artists.
  4. To increase interest in the purchase and commissioning of work from noted artists.
  5. To create greater opportunities for exposure to and experience in the various art forms.

The Arts facet is one that allows members a variety of choices in implementing programs that meet artistic needs of members in our communities. The Links, Incorporated has a strong and rich record of support for the performing and visual arts. From the inception of the organization, chapter members found unique ways to express their individual and collective interests in cultural enrichment in communities across the nation. Links continually provided scholarships for talented individuals, sponsored quality programs for display of talent by budding as well as established artists, used their influence with public and private art institutions to insure inclusion of African American artists, and sponsored countless programs and projects for young people.

Services to Youth

For years, the Services to Youth facet has provided excellence in programming.
The original goals of this facet were to:

  1. Identify those issues and areas in the respective communities where utilization of resources, talents, and skills can make a difference such as providing programs that help eliminate teenage pregnancies, drug and alcohol abuse, crime and juvenile delinquency.
  2. Address educational issues as a basis for attaining and/or maintaining positive self-esteem.
  3. Provide programs that help children develop self-esteem and good decision-making skills.
  4. Provide programs that increase the literacy rate among our youth as well as programs that nurture the potential of youth.

The Services To Youth facet is a dynamic facet that allows members a variety of choices in implementing programs that meet the needs of children within our local and global communities.

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.