logo_green.png
rvc_about.jpg

About
Who We Are

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 292 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 Chapter History

The Raritan Valley (NJ) Chapter was chartered on April 26, 1986 as the 213th Chapter of the Links, Incorporated. Its organizer, Johnnie Bynum Harris, called together women with like interests who were determined to make a difference in their communities. There were 23 members who met at Johnnie Bynum Harris’ house in Somerset, NJ. The members began as an interest group, volunteering at food banks and visiting nursing homes. It was Annie Evans Mitchell who suggested the name of the organization: “Raritan Valley” representing three counties of - Middlesex, Somerset and Union.

 

Once chartered, members were involved in several community endeavors. Members volunteered at a food bank in Somerville, New Jersey and at Willow Creek Rehabilitation and Care Center, formerly known as King James Nursing Home in Franklin Township. They provided toiletries, blankets, and other personal items to its residents. At Thanksgiving they decorated food baskets and distributed them to needy families in the community.

 

Fundraising was and remains a large part of programming. The first Premier Emerald Ball held on May 14, 1988, was a huge success with the chapter raising $10,000. Other fundraisers included a jazz brunch, where they honored and acknowledged scholarship recipients and awarded distinguished Black women of New Jersey with a black bust, known as the Luminous Award.  Since 2014, the community looks forward to the annual Raritan Valley (NJ) Swing With The Links Golf Outing and other signature events sponsored by the chapter.

charter members enhanced.png

Charter Members

Maevonia D. Caldwell*

Irma Callendar^

Gloria Carter^              

Elizabeth Cary^

Frances Davis

Inez P. Durham

Rose M. Ferguson^

Mary E. Hagan^

Johnnie Bynum Harris*^

Melonee A. Jones^

Alma L. Kirkley^

Lillian C. Lockery*^

Juanita Logan^

Katye M. Monroe^

D. Yvonne S. Orrange

Hester Robinson

Adrienne M. Rooks^

Brenda J. Sanders^

M. Odell Sands^

Vivian N. Stewart^

Diane Wilkins

Maurice M. Williams

Nancy P. Williams^

*President

^Deceased

Our Impact

Raritan Valley (NJ) Chapter is committed to making a difference in our service areas.

Members of the Raritan Valley (NJ) Chapter dedicate over 3,000 hours of service annually in Middlesex, Somerset, and Union counties through programming across five facet areas.

 

36 years later, Raritan Valley (NJ) Chapter continues to make a substantial impact in its service areas through the development and implementation of many programs which include:

 

  • Partnering with Rutgers University Upward Bound programs to increase the number of low income and/or first-generation students who will attend and graduate from an institution of higher education.

  • Partnering with philanthropic, corporate, health and community organizations and schools.

  • Awarding over $200,000 in scholarships to approximately 270 high school students, the United Negro College Fund, Thurgood Marshall Fund and our HBCU’s.

  • Exposing over 450 middle school youth to opportunities in STEM and health related fields through HealthLinks, STEAM Festival, Upward Bound, and NSBE, Jr. programs.

  • Introducing students to international educational and career experiences.

  • Supporting and showcasing minorities in performing and visual arts though poster competitions, and public speaking (New Jersey Orators).

  • Sponsoring workshops on financial literacy and managing money (Ally WalletWIse) for parents and students.

  • Coordinating health awareness programs for families in minority communities.

  • Hosting voter registration and census drives.

  • Partnering in Jamaican Missions trips to provide support abroad.

Chapter Officers

President

Vice President

Recording Secretary

Corresponding Secretary

Financial Secretary

Program Chairman

Parliamentarian

Chaplain       

Archivist          

Lamyra Clarke-White

Kim Darcel Osterhoudt

Tonya Y.Williams

Cara Walker

Michelle Crew-Locke

Bernice Johnson

Constance Renee Pizarro

Antoinette Adams

Shirley Mae Andrews         

Past Presidents

Johnnie Bynum

Maevonia Caldwell

Lilian Lockery

Inez Durham

Joan Davis

Emma A. Massy

Georgia Tiller

Alice M. Chapman-Minutello

Tycene Pirtie-Edd

Felisa Vilarin Van Liew

1986 - 1990

1990 - 1991

1991 - 1994

1994 - 1996

1996 - 2000

2000 - 2004

2004 - 2008

2008 - 2012

2012 - 2016

2016 - 2020

Chapter Members

Antoinette Adams

Hester Agudosi

Shirley Mae Andrews

Andrea Barrett-Belgrave

Toya Beasley

Myra Turner Billips

Maripearl B. Brooks

Jacqueline Brown-Harvest

Paula M. Burroughs

Tiffiny Butler

Alice M. Chapman-Minutello

Lamyra Clarke-White

Carol Seale Council

Jennifer Durham

Toi V. Easton

Muriel Springer Grimmett-Ray

Mary Hawkins

Bernice Johnson

Angela King

Pamela Love

Emma A. Massey

Diana L. Mitchell

Nicole Monson

Kim Darcell Osterhoudt

Constance Renee Pizarro

Julia M. Hawks Presley

Karen Denise Simmons

Patricia Taylor

Felisa Vilarin Van LIew

Cara L. Walker

Diane B. Wilkins

Tonya Williams

Alumnae Members

Lonzella Brice

Frances Davis

Inez Durham

Tycene Pirtie-Edd

Annie Evans Mitchell

Yvonne Orrange

Aurelius Pitts

Hester Robinson

Shirley Smith Downie

Georgia Tiller

Ann Vaughan

Maurice Williams

Connect With Us