The Greater New York Chapter and Philadelphia Chapter of the Links, commemorating the social activism of Links founding members in celebration of and in recognition of how the nine founding members of the Links Incorporated were committed from inception in 1946 to actively serve the needs of their local communities and foster close alliances with other civil rights organizations, such as the NAACP, launched a Legacy Weekend. The Philadelphia Chapter (founding chapter) joined with the Greater New York Chapter (first chapter in New York) to reflect on this rich history of social commitment. The inaugural Legacy Luncheon and Panel was held at the International House in Philadelphia.
The program elevated and celebrated the history and social activism of the first chapter organized by co-founders Margaret Roselle Hawkins and Sarah Strickland Scott in Philadelphia. The Links Eastern Area Director Diane Hardison and Area Secretary Shauna Tucker participated in the program as panelists.
Dr. Marcella Maxwell, Greater New York Chapter/Eastern Area chair of Women’s Issues, commented, “I proposed this concept to the founding chapters in an effort to reflect on the rich history of the Links and share with new members our deep-rooted social commitment to underserved communities.” Other Greater New York Chapter members, including President Rhonda J. McClean; First Vice President Linda Zango-Haley, niece of founding member Francis Atkinson; and Greater New York Chapter Women’s Initiative Committee Chair Gail Monroe-Perry, joined the Philadelphia Chapter for a two-day celebration. “We were thrilled to host this educational weekend of reflection and purpose in celebration of the vision and commitment of our Link co-founders and the chartered chapter members,” said Philadelphia Chapter President Sherilynn Johnson-Kimble.
Link members Stephanie Watkins, Alexia Hudson-Ward, Lisa Hawkins, Brenda Johnson and Vivienne Crawford spearheaded the collaborative platform in Philadelphia. The program started with a moderated panel discussion to review the rich history of the Philadelphia Chapter and to celebrate Links leaders (past and present) who have positively influenced social action and justice. This discussion was followed by a tour and historian’s presentation of the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, including the viewing of the 14 “Stations of the Cross,” painted by Link Margaret Roselle Hawkins. The day ended with a closing reception celebrating friendship.