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. 

The Chapter’s Charter Members: Sammi A. Bradford,  Virginia Brown Calvin, Virginia Chism, Nimbi Cushing, Mabel Webster Davis, Lorene Ellison-Davis, Christine Edgerton, Margaret Scisney Forrest, Donna J. Foster, Jeanette McCullough, Obera McDonald, Ethel Cobbins Morgan, Teresa Phillips, Vernease Pyles, Otha L. Reese, Diane Rutter**, Madeline P. Smothers, Joyce B. Stith, and Myrtle C. Wilson. 

President--Lillian S. Bell, Vice President--Goldie L. Ivory, Recording Secretary--Jean E. Bibbs, Corresponding Secretary--Ocealene V. Carr, Treasurer--Rosamond Winmon Byrd. 

*Five Women: The five women were Lillian Bell, Rosamond Byrd, Virginia Brown Calvin, Goldie L. Ivory**, and Genevee Wesley (Michigan City, Indiana).

Office Chapter History

Created April 1990

Updated February 2013



Our Objective...

To foster economic development.
To educate the public about issues central to the well-being of African Americans.
To advocate appropriate pubic responses to the needs of African Americans.
To empower the membership in leadership development by offering training programs for greater effectiveness.
To provide a positive approach to address critical youth issues.

To foster artistic endeavors.
To promote the well-being of African American families.
To collaborate with organizations with similar goals and objectives.
To increase awareness of international issues, particularly those affecting people of African descent.

Our Mission...

Friends Transforming Communities Through Service

Our Vision...

is to impact the quality of life for humankind through community service.  In response to an ever-changing society, The Links, Incorporated will increase its participation nationally and internationally for a stronger partnership with people of good will and good deeds.



Active Members: Naomi Adams, Virginia Calvin, Virginia Chism, Angela Nelson Deuitch, Raquel Foster, Imogene Harris, Consuela Howell, Angela Logan, Tina Patton, Teresa Phillips, Emma Rae Smith, Rosalyn Summerlin,  Leslie Wesley,  and Myrtle Wilson

Alumnae Members: Willie Mae Butts, Rosamond Byrd, Christine Edgerton, Janice Hall, Ida Knight, and Vernease Pyles

Charter Members:  Lillian Bell*, Jean Bibbs*, Sammi Bradford, Rosamond Byrd, Virginia Calvin, Ocealene Carr*, Virginia Chism, Nimbi Cushing, Mable Davis, Lorene Ellison-Davis*, Christine Edgerton, Margaret Forrest, Donna Foster, Goldie Ivory*, Jeanette McCullough, Obera McDonald, Ethel Morgan, Teresa Phillips, Vernease Pyles, Otha Reese, Diane Rutter*, Madeline Smothers*, Joyce Stith*, and Myrtle Wilson

* Deceased
** LOA