Thank you for your interest in The Links, Incorporated, Durham (NC) Chapter and for visiting our website. I am honored to serve as the Chapter's 27th President and stand on the shoulders of the dynamic women who served in this role before me.
The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. We have a membership of more than 12,000 extraordinary professional women of color who comprise 274 chapters in 40 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. Ours is one of the Nation's oldest and largest volunteer service organizations committed to enhancing the educational, cultural, physical, and economic development of African-Americans and other persons of African ancestry.
As I embark on the final year of my tenure as your Chapter President, I reflect on our many successes over the years.
As I mentioned since the beginning of 2017, 2018 will mark 60 years of friendship and service for the Durham (NC) Chapter. One of our founding members, Platinum and Alumna Link Barbara Cooke, still resides in the Durham community and celebrated another birthday in April. I am humbled to carry the torch of the 16 dynamic women who chartered the Durham (NC) Chapter and the 26 women who served as Chapter President before me.
Our Chapter continues to be a leader in the Southern Area of the Links, Incorporated, receiving National and Area awards for serving families in transitional housing through our Umbrella and Integrated Programs. At the 2016 National Assembly in Las Vegas, Nevada, we received the National 1st Place Award for Integrated Programming (National Trends and Services, Services to Youth, and Health and Human Services). In 2017, we were also recognized with a 3rd Place Award for Integrated Programming by the Southern Area in Atlanta, Georgia. These awards include designated financial stipends to continue our initiatives for children and families in transitional housing.
I am pleased to report twenty-four members of our Chapter attended the Southern Area Conference. And several of them taught me how to do the ‘Wobble’ at the Friday evening Gala (you know who you are).
We hosted our Shades of Green in 2017 charity fashion show March 4, 2017, and were privileged to have our 11th National President, Link Patricia Russell-McCloud in attendance. We are slated to host the event again March 17, 2018, at the Durham Convention Center. This event allows us to fund charities, Chapter Facets and programs, National and Area initiatives, and our endowed scholarship at North Carolina Central University (NCCU).
I am pleased to acknowledge our continued collaborative partnership with the Durham Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, (DACDST). The two organizations co-sponsored a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) camp with North Carolina Central University’s Fabrication Lab (FAB) this year. More than 48 students registered and participated in the lab April 22nd at NCCU. Each student received a certificate of completion, a t-shirt, and left the camp with a personal design they crafted during the camp. Additionally, our Chapter and DACDST awarded seven scholarships to middle and high school students to attend STEM camps over the summer.
In addition to the programming of our Facets, we have made stride in our efforts to promote friendship. I salute our Friendship Activities Committee for coordinating several ‘Link Ups’ to allow us a chance to relax and develop relationships and enjoy each other’s company.
In addition to our Friendship activities, we inducted a new member into our Chapter, Link Cerelyn ‘CJ’ Davis. For her community service project, she coordinated an event for youth, ‘Oh Snap! Let’s Chat’, which included presentations by a variety of experts who focused on social media, how to avoid gang affiliation, safe interactions with law enforcement, and one of our own, Link Donna-Marie Winn facilitated a workshop, ‘Staying Woke and Getting Paid.’ The project, which was held at the Durham Police Department, yielded more than 60 middle and high school student participants. Link Launice Sills transferred to our Chapter and Link Roz Fuse-Hall (inducted in May 2006) returned.
Regrettably, we experienced several breaks in our chain of friendship: Link Debra Saunders-White, and Connecting Links Eldee Brown, Jr., Ralph Hunt, Sr., and Joseph Campbell Sr. We remember each of them fondly and continue our bond of friendship with Alumna Links Hazel, Rebecca, and Dorothy, Heir-o-Links, and other family members.
I wish I could tell you everything we have accomplished. If I did, my section would be the entire newsletter.
For now, I simply say, “Thank You” to every member of our Chapter for your commitment to friendship and service and for supporting me as your President. I thank the Executive Team for executing your assignments with enthusiasm, including attending webinars and participating in monthly calls for your respective role. I also thank all Facet and Committee Chairs for accepting the challenge from our National and Southern Area leadership to support the initiatives of our esteemed Sisterhood. Because of each of you, the Durham (NC) Chapter is indeed linking our friendships, leveraging our philanthropy, and lifting our community!
In friendship and service,
Anita A. Daniels
'Linking our friendships . . . Leveraging our philanthropy . . . Lifting our community'