The Crescent City Chapter of the Links, Incorporated, formerly known as the Suburban Arts Guild, is a diverse group of women with varied backgrounds, training, points of origin, and life experiences. This diversity of professions and life achievements enhance the quality of our work and provided unlimited opportunities to bring positive change to our community.
The inception of organizing a second chapter of the Links, Inc. in New Orleans, Louisiana began in the 1980s with two friends: Janice Mathewson Brunette and Jean Allen Demas White. They shared many discussions regarding the expansion of services to address the diverse needs of the African American community. They believed that there were many talented women in New Orleans who could provide resources as well as their time and skills to enhance the quality of life in their city.
The first official meeting was held at the home of Jean Allen Demas White on March 28, 1981.The meeting was attended by Jean Demas White, Dr. Janice Burnette, Gradie Knight, and Barbara Clanton. This initial group, a physician, two educators and a business owner, discussed the widespread needs of the poor and disadvantaged groups in the city. As the demands for interventions increased the group expanded its membership and formalized its existence by selecting a name: Suburban Arts Guild.
A decision was made to explore the feasibility of establishing a second chapter of The Links, Incorporated in the New Orleans metropolitan area. With the mentorship and support of Southern Area Director, Link Regina Frazier and National Chapter Establishment Officer Jacqueline Robinson, the Guild continued to meet for the next two year. Link Louadrain Reed mentored our chapter as we developed ours skills in delivering service to our community.
After two years of rewarding program development, implementation and friendship building, the Crescent city Chapter of The Links, Incorporated was chartered in a wonderful weekend celebration from Friday, June 1, 1984 to Sunday June 3, 1984. On June 2, 1984, Dr. Dolly Desselle Adams, National President Of The Links, Inc., Dr. Julia Brogdom Purnell,7th National President, Southern Regional Director, Regina Jollivette Frazier, National Chapter Establishment Officer Jacqueline Robinson, and Public Information Officer, Thelma Perkins installed our chapter at the New Orleans City Club. A Grand Reception was held at the Windsor Court Hotel later that day and the celebration continued with family and friends.
The charter Members listed professions in education, medicine, law, business, public relations, social services, and federal administrators. The officers were: President; Delores Heglar, Vice-President; Jean Allen Demas White, Recording Secretary; Stella Jones, Corresponding Secretary; Janice Burnette, Treasurer; Barbara Quintal, Parliamentarian; Patricia Fields Bivins, Publicity; Beverly McKenna, Historian; Arlene Barnett, Chaplain; Barbara Clanton and Program Coordinator; Lorraine Wilson.
Charter Members: Lydia Sindos Adams, Sophie Watts Aramburo, Dr. Arlene Slade Barnett, Evelyn Sawyer Battiste, Patricia Fields Bivins, Gail Porche Broussard, Duplynn Joan Rhodes Brown, Genelle Wright Brown, Dr. Janice Matthewson Burnette, Dorothy Morris Champagne, Barbara Guy Clanton, Jean Allen Demas White, Dr. Armayne Dunston, Norma Woods Eddington, Shirley Scales Epps, Cheryl Smith Gerdes, Delores Bailey Heglar, Shirley Harmon Hopkins, Dr. Stella Pinkney Jones, Gradie Gordon Knight, Dr. Deidre Dumas Labat, Beverly Stanton McKenna, Barbara Hicks Quintal, Louise Eugere Rachal, Carolyn Buchanan Reynolds, Peggy Ann Robertson, Barbara Wilson Shelby, Carole Taylor, Lorraine Poret Wilson and Jacqueline Smith Wright.