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.


March 10, 1979

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

1978-1991          Virginia  Ellis

1981-1983          Christina Neal

1983-1985         Bettye McDonald

1985-1987         Hazel Turner

1987-1989         Rosetta Wingo

1989-1990        Barbara Meadows

1990-1992        Letitia Byrd

1992-1993        Virginia Bailey

1993-1995        Nora Martin

1995-1996        Christella Moody

1996-1998        Willie Edwards

1998-2001        Ann Hampton-Hawkins

2001-2003        Bella Parker

2003-2005      Jan Collins-Eaglin

2005-2007       Laurita Thomas

2007-2009      Sandra Harris

2009-2011        Patricia Manley

2011 -2015        Cleopatra Caldwell

2015-2019        Linda King



President                                              Wendy Woods

Vice President for Membership       Lisa Bradley    

Vice President for Programs            Darlene Ray-Johnson

Recording Secretary                          Phyllis Blackman        

Corresponding Secretary                  Maria Thompson        

Assistant to the Secretary                Deborah Meadows    

Treasurer                                              Alfreda Rooks

Financial Secretary                            Erika Williams    

Parliamentarian                                  Angela Johnson

Historian                                              Monique Washington

Chaplain                                              JoWanda Gore

Immediate Past President                Linda King


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 70 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 15,000 members in 288 chapters located in 42 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and the United Kingdom 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 The Ann Arbor (MI)Chapter of The LINKS, Inc.

Get in touch with Ann Arbor Links to learn more about our work and find out how to donate. We appreciate your support!


P.O. Box 7346
Ann Arbor, MI 48107