"Linking with the Community, Collaborating to Serve"
The Kalamazoo (MI) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated was organized in 1999 as the Southwest Michigan Women’s Service Organization (SWMWSO). Although headquartered in Kalamazoo, the objectives were to serve members of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo communities.
The organization transitioned to an Interest Group of The Links, Incorporated in 2000 and was chartered on April 28, 2001 as the Kalamazoo (MI) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. During the first two years, the Links had two very successful fundraising events. The purpose was twofold: 1) to raise additional dollars to fund youth projects as well as to support facet (committee) activities; and 2) to enhance recognition of the Chapter and its community programs as an advocate for children of color in southwestern Michigan.
The Kalamazoo (MI) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated recognizes the necessity to place importance on preparing youth for the challenges they will face as they navigate through adolescence and into adulthood. We have accepted as our charge “Youth Development” and we see our goal as follows: To assist youth in development of skills that will enhance their pursuit of academic achievement and the successful management of their daily lives.
The Links, Incorporated has become known and respected in our communities for the excellent programs and activities provided through the Youth Leadership Academy for Girls, our partnerships with the Ann J. Kellogg Elementary School in Battle Creek and the Edison Environmental Science Academy in Kalamazoo, and our Dr. Gloria R. Smith Scholarship. The implementation of our recent initiative, Powering the Promise and The Legacy, is a partnership with the Michigan Women’s Foundation - Young Women for Change.
Our signature fundraiser, JUST JAZZ, has also brought world class entertainment to the community. The concerts have featured such artists as Earl Klugh, Ramsey Lewis, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and jazz saxophonist Boney James. The Just Jazz Art Auctions have included selected works of local artists and entertainment by area musicians.
Welcome to the official website of the Kalamazoo (MI) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, an international not-for-profit organization, founded in 1946. Today the organization consists of over 16,000 committed women with 288 chapters in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and the United Kingdom. We are linked in friendship and connected to service. The name “Links” is synonymous with effective national programs: Services to Youth, The Arts, National Trends & Services, International Trends and Services, Health and Human Services.
The Kalamazoo (MI) Chapter was chartered in 2001 with 35 accomplished and amazing women from the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek areas, and I am honored and humbled to serve as the chapter president. Since our inception, we have been dedicated to strengthening our chain of friendship, leading with excellence, and serving our communities. We have volunteered countless hours of community service and are known and respected for the annual Dr. Gloria R. Smith Scholarship presented to Kalamazoo and Battle Creek students. Additionally in 2015, we launched our inaugural initiative through a partnership with the Michigan Women's Foundation where we provide quality, culturally relevant mentoring and program activities for high school girls.
Please continue to navigate our website and learn more about the many service projects and accomplishments of the Kalamazoo (MI) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.
"Success isn't about how much money you make,
it's about the difference you make in people's lives."
- First Lady Michelle Obama