Greater Seattle Links, Incorporated
On December 9, 1955, the Seattle Chapter of The Links, Incorporated is chartered. This is a national organization of more than 10,000 predominately African American women in 274 chapters located in 42 states and three countries. It is founded on the premise of Links meaning both a chain of friendship and a chain of purposeful service.
The organization was founded in Philadelphia on November 9, 1946, by Sara Strickland Scott and Margaret Rosselle Hawkins.
During its 50-year history, the now Greater Seattle Chapter of The Links with 61 members has distributed more than one million dollars for scholarships, awards, and community projects. In addition, the organization has volunteered some 130,000 hours to address the educational, cultural, and health needs of the community. Its accomplishments are made through four program facets: The Arts, Services to Youth, National Trends and Services, and International Trends and Services.
Through The Arts facet, the group has sponsored creative writing workshops featuring both locally and nationally known literary artists and exhibits at the Bellevue Art Museum titled Hidden Heritage: Afro-American Art, 1800-1950, and at the Henry Art Gallery titled African American Tradition in Decorative Arts. Among the National Trends and Services programs are the Career Awareness Workshops for middle school students and the development of the Friends of the African American Academy.
The annual Youth Awards Program developed by the Services to Youth committee has been its most dynamic and oldest activity. Public and private school African American students are honored for academic achievement and high school students are provided scholarships. This has been an on-going program since 1971.
The International Trends and Services committee recognizes the cause of human rights through its Human Rights Day Awards and through its International Roundtables, which facilitate discussion of social issues from a global perspective. Beginning in 1982, a significant 22-year partnership and collaboration was made with Nordstrom, the retail stored based in Seattle. Nordstrom has sponsored fashion shows featured in the Links annual dinner dance fundraisers.
Charter members of the Seattle Chapter were:
Sarai Greene Haith (Organizer and President)
Josephine Stokes (Vice President)
Virginia Gayton (Financial Secretary)
Orie Greene (Secretary)
Melvina Squires (Treasurer)
Guela Gayton (Humes) Johnson
Deloris Brooks Williams
Sylvia Gayton (Greene) Wesley
The Links Incorporated, the book, with charter members pictured, 2005
Courtesy Mary T. Henry
The Seattle Links
Courtesy The Links