South Bend Area (IN) Chapter News!

PoSITivity Bench Initiative 



Organizing the Chapter: In the fall of 1987 a group of five women* met with Lillian Bell to organize and discuss ways to improve conditions of African Americans in our area. Realizing that the problem was severe in as much as there was no political power to bring our needs to focus, it was suggested that a chapter of The Links, Incorporated in our area might be a way to begin meeting these needs.  The group discussed literature received from the National Office of The Links, Incorporated, regarding history, purpose, and philosophy of the organization. At the conclusion of the meeting, a letter expressing interest in establishing a Chapter of The Links, Incorporated was submitted to the National Chapter Establishment Officer. 

The Chapter as an Interest Group: Upon receiving information from the National Establishment Officer, plans were implemented and other members were invited. The name “Elkhart-South Bend Women’s Association Interest Group,” was selected. Club officers were appointed, committees were formed, and bylaws were adopted. Commitment, enthusiasm, drive, stamina, initiative, ideas, and dedication were our main thrust.On July 7, 1989, the Interest Group was informed that approval was given by the National Organization to start the chapter membership process.The needs of the community were identified to formulate programs meeting needs in the areas of education, cultural, and civic responsibilities.The Interest Group set forth in a cooperative endeavor to establish unity and impact upon the communities of South Bend, Mishawaka, Elkhart, Goshen and Osceola.

Efforts came to fruition on April 21, 1990, when the South Bend Area Chapter, The Links, Incorporated was chartered. ​                                                                                       


South Bend Links Partnered with the Jewish Federation of St. Joseph Valley

The PoSITivity Bench was launched during our Central Area Leadership Summit, October 31, 202. The South Bend Area (IN) Chapter select a partner, the YMCA. This initiative is continuing through our Central Area Conference in July 2021.

​Leslie Wesley, Programming Chair, has announced that the South Bend Area (IN) Chapter’s PoSITivity Bench will be located at the Brown Community Learning Center, South Bend, Indiana and will incorporate all of the facets.

Active, Past. and Alumna Members

Seated, L to R: Myrtle Wilson, Virginia Chism, Willie Mae Butts, Janice Hall, Virginia Calvin, Otha Reese

Standing, L to R: Alice Miller, Teresa Phillips, Angela Logan. Consuela Howell, Angela Mitchell, Imogene Harris, Leslie Wesley, Naomi Adams, Raquel Foster, Roz Summerlin, Roz Byrd, Tina Patton Jann Joseph, and Ida Reynolds Watson

The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. The membership consists of more than 16,000 professional women of African descent 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 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 have made a difference in their communities and the world. They are business and civic leaders, role models, mentors, activists and volunteers who work toward a common vision by engaging like-minded organizations and individuals for partnership. Links members contribute more than 1 million documented hours of community service annually – strengthening their communities and enhancing the nation. The organization is the recipient of awards from the UN Association of New York and the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation for its premier programs.

The South Bend Area (IN) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated received a very generous donation of 22 books for our mentoring program, "Linking Together to Empower Young Women" from the Jewish Federation of St. Joseph Valley. The books are titled, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey." The books will be given to each mentee and mentor to read together and use as a way to help the teens in the program apply principles to deal with tough issues and help them navigate through the life-changing decisions they face. 

The book is a guide to self-improvement to help teens with their image, to build relationships, resist peer pressure, achieve goals, get along with parents and more.

Thank you to the Jewish Federation of St. Joseph Valley and Bob Feferman, Community Relations Director for partnering with us to make a difference in the lives of young women.

Meet Our Chapter President

We, the South Bend Area (IN) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated welcome you to our website. Since our inception in 1990, we have been dedicated to our mission  to promote and engage in educational, civic, and intercultural activities in order to enrich the lives of members and the larger community, and to work together toward achieving community goals.

Thanks to all who partner with us to support our programs and activities throughout the year. It is your support that helps us to increase our funding endowments and develop programs that provide the services necessary to make a greater impact to those in need.

Tina Patton, President