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:
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.
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.
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:
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:
The goals of Links’ concentration on The Arts and their creators obviously are manifold. The specific goals are:
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.
For years, the Services to Youth facet has provided excellence in programming.
The original goals of this facet were to:
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.
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.