THE LINKS, INCORPORATED

The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. The membership consists of more than 16,000 professional women of color in 288 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and the United Kingdom. It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of extraordinary women who are committed to enriching, sustaining, and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry.

Our core values are friendship, integrity, honesty, service, commitment, family relationships, courage, respect for self and others, legacy, confidentiality, responsibility, and accountability. The Links, Incorporated has attracted many distinguished women who are individual achievers and have made a difference in their communities and the world. Links members contribute more than 1 million documented hours of community service annually – strengthening their communities and enhancing the nation.

AUSTIN (TX) CHAPTER HISTORY

During the middle fifties, Goldie Reid Hortshorn, President of the Houston Chapter of The Links, Incorporated discussed with her sister, Opal McDonald Seabrook, the possibility of setting up a chapter of the Links, Incorporated in Austin. There were subsequent discussions between Goldie Hortshorn and Opal Seabrook. Eventually, Goldie came to Austin for the purpose of meeting with some interested persons regarding a chapter.

Those meeting with Goldie were Opal Seabrook, Connie Yerwood Conner, Olive Durden Brown, and Mary Yerwood Thompson at Mary Y. Thompson’s home, 1212 Harvey Street. As a result of this meeting enough interest was shown to indicate the desire on the part of those assembled to proceed with applying for a chapter in Austin Potential members were suggested as follows: Hazel Poole Adams, Thelma Mitchell Elliott, Lillie Belle Corley Hines, Clara M. Cadd Johnson, Catherine B. Lamkin, Percy Grace Skaggs Lyons, Ruth Meeks Mayes, and Emma Louise Smythe Woodward. Together, they completed the necessary twelve for establishing a chapter. Goldie returned to Houston to set the machinery in motion for an Austin Chapter sponsored by the Houston Chapter.

At the time of this process the Texas chapters were in the Southern Area. When the National Assembly met it was evident that Texas would become a part of the Western Area. This created a delay in the processing of the application for a chapter until early 1960. By this time, Vera G. Codwell was president of the Houston Chapter and she continued sponsoring negotiations with the Austin group through Olive D. Brown and Connie Y. Conner

By National Assembly time in 1960, Austin had been approved for a chapter along with San Antonio. Austin and San Antonio collaborated in certain aspects and details in preparation for establishment of the two chapters.

Past Presidents

  • 1960 – 1963: Olive D. Brown

  • 1963 – 1965: Connie Y. Conner

  • 1965 – 1967: Catherine B. Lamkin
  • 1967 – 1969: Clara M. Johnson
  • 1969 – 1971: Olive D. Brown

  • 1971 – 1975: Dorothy N. Cashaw
  • 1975 – 1979: M. Lavon Marshall
  • 1979 – 1983: Ora A. Houston

  • 1983 – 1987: Bettye Crawford

  • 1987 – 1991: Una Flemings
  • 1991 – 1993: Dorothea Brown
  • 1993 – 1995: Dorothy Madison
  • 1995 – 1997: Harriet Murphy
  • 1997 – 2001: Arthuree Quander
  • 2001 – 2005: Barbara Williams Huggins
  • 2005 – 2009: Susan Johnson
  • 2009 – 2013: Etta Ferguson

  • 2013 – 2017: Brenda Kennedy