About The Ann Arbor (MI) Chapter of the Links, Inc.


The Ann Arbor (MI) chapter was organized by Virginia Ellis who served as the chapter’s first president.   She invited several women to her home on June 16, 1978 to develop an interest group.

The Ann Arbor (MI) chapter of The Links, Incorporated was officially established on March 10, 1979 at Weber’s Inn in Ann Arbor.   There were thirty-two charter members who represented the educational, political, social, cultural and economic core of the African American community in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area.   The installing officer was Julia Purnell, national president of The Links, Incorporated who was also the sister of chapter charter members Sadie Blackwell and Christine Gilchrist.  The official sponsor of the chapter was Allene Rayford of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.   Ann Johnson Julian served as the chapter’s unofficial sponsor.

The Ann Arbor (MI) chapter is one of ten Links, Incorporated chapters in the State of Michigan and is part of the Central Area Region.

The Ann Arbor (MI) chapter, through the friendship of multi-talented and accomplished professional women serves to have a positive impact on the African-American community of Washtenaw County by improving the lives of its residents, especially the most vulnerable populations.   The mission of the Ann Arbor (MI) chapter  is to increase the prosperity of the African-American community of Washtenaw County through impactful programming that promotes the arts, health and human services, youth, and social justice on both a national and international level.


Delores A. Anderson
Gwendolyn C. Baker
Virginia B. Bailey
Sadie B. Blackwell
Carolyn A. Boyd
Juanita E. Bradley
Letitia J. Byrd
Burnita Cash
Betty Jean Childress
Ida R. Edwards
Willie Edwards
Virginia W. Ellis

Christine Gilchrist
Rose Gibson
Mary Hamilton
Gloria Horne
Lola M. Jones
Anne Lucas
Shirley Dorsey Martin
Bettye W. McDonald
Barbara E. Meadows
Christella Moody

Christina W. Neal
Josephine G. Owens
Zerilda Plamer
Henri M. Parker
Jennie Partee
Hazel M. Turner
Frances H. Vaughn
Rebecca Vaughan
Frances Watts
Rosetta C. Wingo



1978 – 1981  Virginia  Ellis 1995-1996 Christella Moody
1981-1983 Christina Neal 1996-1998  Willie Edwards
1983-1985 Bettye McDonald 1998-2001 Ann Hampton-Hawkins
1985-1987 Hazel Turner 2001-2003 Bella Parker
1987-1989 Rosetta Wingo 2003-2005 Jan Collins-Eaglin
1989-1990 Barbara Meadows 2005-2007 Laurita Thomas
1990-1992 Letitia Byrd 2007-2009  Sandra Harris
1992-1993 Virginia Bradley 2009-2011 Patricia Manley
1993-1995   Nora Martin 2011-2015 Cleopatra Caldwell




President Linda H. King
Vice President for Membership Wendy Woods
Vice President for Programs Margaret Scisney-Matlock
Recording Secretary   Sandra Harris
Corresponding Secretary   Maria Thompson
Assistant to the Secretary     Deborah Meadows
Treasurer    Carolyn  Cole-Brown
Financial Secretary  Mary Gibson
Parliamentarian        Donica Thomas Varner
Historian  Stefani A. Carter
Chaplain    Chanel DeGuzman
Journalist      Donica Thomas Varner
Immediate Past President Cleopatra Caldwell





The Links, Incorporated was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 9, 1946 by friends Sarah Strickland Scott and Margaret Roselle Hawkins.

The Links, Incorporated celebrates more than 65 years as a women’s volunteer service organization committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the cultural and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. A premier international service organization with more than 12,000 members in 276 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, its legacy of friends providing service that changes lives, established by the original circle of nine friends in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1946, is alive and well.

The members of The Links, Incorporated are influential decision makers and opinion leaders. The Links, Incorporated has attracted many distinguished women who are individual achievers and who have made a difference in their communities and the world. They are business and civic leaders, role models, mentors, activists and volunteers who work towards a common vision by engaging like-minded organizations and individuals for partnership. With more than two million service hours recorded in the past three years, members regularly contribute more than 500,000 documented service hours in their respective communities annually.

The Links Foundation, Incorporated, the philanthropic arm of The Links, Incorporated, has made more than $25 million in charitable contributions since its founding. Working closely with its sponsors and supporters, The Links, Incorporated is focused on creating transformational programming and impact­ing lives in communities of color through Services to Youth, The Arts, National Trends and Services, International Trends and Services, and Health and Human Services, to improve the quality of life for individuals, families and communities. The Links, Incorporated: “Linked in Friendship, Connected in Service.” For more information, visit www.linksIncorporatedorg.

For more information on The Links, Incorporated founding members visit:



  • Over 12,000 members are women of African ancestry.
  • 274 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.
  • The Links, Incorporated is a not-for-profit 501 (c) 4 organization.
  • The Links Foundation, Incorporated is a 501 (c) 3 organization.

Contact Us

Ann Arbor (MI) Chapter of the Links, Inc.

P.O. Box 7346

Ann Arbor, MI 48107

Email: linksincaa@gmail.com


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