This week, The Links, Incorporated is holding its 37th national assembly at Cobo Hall.
According to Alicia Nails, local public relations chair for 2010 National Assembly, this is an election year for the organization, and the members will choose a new president. Some 2,500 people are expected to take part in the week-long event.
The Links, an organization of accomplished, successful African American women, has four service trends — arts, services to youth, national trends, and international trends.
There are six chapters in the Southeast Michigan region: Ann Arbor, Detroit, Great Lakes, Greater Wayne, Renaissance and Oakland County.
Nails is a member of the Oakland County chapter that works heavily in the Pontiac public schools with students and parents.
The Oakland County chapter also partners with organizations like Welcome Missionary Baptist Church in Pontiac. Through that partnership, the chapter has conducted a financial literary campaign that has educated hundreds of citizens on budgeting, credit, savings and home foreclosure, among other issues.
Nails said that every time the Links has a national assembly, the organization leaves a service project to enrich the local community. This year, the organization is the founding sponsor for the Focus: Hope Family Learning Center, which will provide computer training, tutoring, assistance with homework, ongoing financial workshops, and a credit union.
In a press release, Focus: HOPE co-founder Eleanor Josaitis called the Family Learning Center a dream come true.
“Our community needs access to resources that many of us take for granted,” she said.
Links member Dr. Glenda Price, president emerita of Marygrove College, is project chair. In a statement, she called Focus: HOPE a proven change agent for empowerment.
“This Assembly is the result of the efforts of literally dozens of local members, each linked by friendship and a commitment to facilitate a gathering of other African- American women who are about service,” said Vivian Pickard, lead liaison for the 2010 National Assembly and chair of Corporate Relations for The Links, Incorporated.
She is also president of the GM Foundation and director of Corporate Relations for General Motors Company.
The Links will honor Radio One CEO Cathy Hughes and Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the UN. The organization will also confer posthumous honors on Dr. Dorothy Height, the civil rights icon who died April 20. Dr. Height, chair and president emerita of the National Council of Negro Women, was to have received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Events open to the public include “An Evening with Smokey Robinson,” July 2 at 8 p.m. at the Detroit Opera House. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster,
www.ticketmaster.com. The Civic Luncheon, “Salute to Women in Leadership,” is also open to the public and will take place on July 3 at 11:30 a.m., at Cobo Hall. Tickets are available by contacting NationalAssembly@LinksInc.org.