Our History

Chapter History

The Renaissance (MI) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, stands on the shoulders of our founding members and the dedicated women who have served tirelessly since our national organization was founded in 1946 on the principles of friendship and service. These values remain the most treasured legacy of The Links, Incorporated, headquartered in Washington, DC.

Renaissance Links Image created by Founder, Pauline Harris

The Renaissance Chapter was founded in Metro Detroit in 1987. Each member, an inspired and inspiring leader in her own right, is a volunteer who contributes many hours of involvement in a variety of service programs and projects, representing upwards of $250,000 per year in charitable efforts in the Metro Detroit Area alone.

Renaissance Chapter members believe in “caring for our community.”  We are diligently planning our 25th Anniversary Celebration,  which takes place on November 4, 2012. This wonderful celebration, aptly named “A Winter Wonderland” provides an opportunity for the chapter to highlight its continuing commitment to serving its community, and commemorates a major milestone for this civic organization founded on the principles of friendship and service. The chapter has evolved far beyond it roots as a local organization of 27 original charter members who formed the Michigan Innovators Group (M.I.G.) in 1985 with a mission to contribute to the quality of life in the community through concerted group effort. Two years later, M.I.G. was inducted into The Links, Incorporated and has since been known as The Renaissance (MI) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. We remain dedicated to serving the community with our far-reaching, effective, award-winning programs in five (5) integrated areas of commitment and service.


Over the last 25 years, our chapter has been able to make a significant impact in the Metropolitan Detroit area. Highlights include the following:
  • Invested more than $100,000 to create a state of the art computer lab for Courtis/Noble Schools, Detroit Public Schools;
  • Committed nearly $250,000 to develop a Black Inventors and Scientists exhibit and programming at the Charles H. Wright Museum for African American History, Detroit.
  • Sponsored for several years workshops for aspiring poets in public schools at the middle and high school levels;
  • Coordinated for two years a Saturday enrichment program for elementary school children and their parents to improve academic skills and provide exposure to the arts, health and culture.

Future Focus

Over the next 3-5 years the Links, Renaissance Chapter will be focused on having impact on the following areas in Metropolitan Detroit:
  • Adult Literacy through expansion of the volunteer literacy coaches by 1,750 which will reduce literacy by more than 1%
  • Accessibility for underserved children to arts and culture i.e., music, literature, visual arts and other media
  • Mentoring programs for Detroit youth
  • Health education for the uninsured and underinsured and high risk populations

Charter Members

  • Bettye Arrington
  • Irene Arrington
  • Norma Barfield
  • Hazel Clermont
  • Karen Clermont
  • Auxvasse Dixon
  • Retha Douglas
  • Laverne Evans
  • Ora D. Fant
  • Linda E. Fuller
  • Lola Glass Graves
  • Olga Wilder Graves
  • Dorris Hall
  • Joya Harris
  • Paula Jo Harris
  • Olivetta Hickman
  • Dorothy Holloway
  • Carrie Maben
  • Helen McAfee
  • Pauline McKinney Harris
  • Jean Miller
  • Margaret Montgomery
  • Laura E. Moseley
  • Laura R. Moseley
  • Dorothy S. Nero
  • Pamela Rodgers
  • Yvonne Rodgers
  • Shermane Townsend Sealey

National Organization History

The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. The membership consists of 12,000 professional women of color in 275 chapters located in 42 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. 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.

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 towards a common vision by engaging like-minded organizations and individuals for partnership. Links members contribute more than 500,000 documented hours of community service annually – strengthening their communities and enhancing the nation.
The Renaissance (MI) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated is proud to implement our national programs in a manner that is reflective of the unique needs and individuality of our local Detroit community.


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