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Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) — The Links, Incorporated and The Links Foundation, Incorporated are pleased to announce the induction of Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, as an honorary member. Internationally known as Africa’s “Iron Lady,” President Sirleaf is Africa’s first democratically elected female president and a leading champion for peace, justice and democratic rule.

The induction ceremony, presided over by the national president of The Links, Incorporated and The Links Foundation, Incorporated, Margot James Copeland, was held on March 2 in Monrovia, Liberia, with more than 50 members of the organization in attendance. The occasion marks the first induction of an honorary member outside the United States. “President Sirleaf has transformed the quality of life in her country and has made a positive difference globally,” said Copeland. “By her deeds, she has gained the admiration, esteem and affection of the world. Her strength, courage and integrity are an inspiration. In recognition of her contributions to our global community it is a humbling privilege to welcome President Sirleaf into The Links, Incorporated.”

The Links bestow honorary membership upon individuals who are widely recognized nationally and internationally for outstanding and exemplary services rendered to their communities. President Sirleaf joins the esteemed company of international opera star Mattiwilda Dobbs, the incomparable Leontyne Price, the late Honorable Constance Baker Motley, iconic Marion Anderson, Honorable Patricia Roberts Harris, educator Elizabeth Koontz, and the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement,” Rosa Parks, as an honorary member of the organization.

Since President Sirleaf’s inauguration in 2006, she has contributed to securing peace in Liberia, promoting economic and social development, and to strengthening the position and opportunities for women. In 2011, President Sirleaf was awarded the international Nobel Peace Prize for her non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for advancing a woman’s right to fully participate in peace-building work. In October 2007, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award bestowed by the president of the United States, for her personal courage and unwavering commitment to expanding freedom and improving the lives of people in Liberia and across Africa.

“I am honored to be a member of this esteemed organization. Your work will now become my work and I look forward to representing The Links, Incorporated,” said President Sirleaf. The Links, Incorporated visited West Africa February 27- March 9, to officially establish the organization’s programmatic presence in Liberia and expand its more than 50 year history of strengthening and empowering African communities.

The Links, Incorporated

The Links, Incorporated celebrates more than 65 years as a women’s volunteer service organization committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the cultural and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. A premier international service organization with more than 12,000 members in 276 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, its legacy of friends providing services that change lives, established by the original circle of nine friends in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1946, is alive and well.

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 who 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.

With more than 2 million service hours recorded in the past three years, members regularly contribute more than 500,000 documented service hours in their respective communities annually. For more information, visit www.linksinc.org.

The Links Foundation, Incorporated

The Links Foundation, Incorporated, the philanthropic arm of The Links, Incorporated, has made more than $25 million in charitable contributions since its founding in 1979. Working closely with its sponsors and supporters, The Links, Incorporated is focused on creating transformational programming and impacting lives in communities of color through Services to Youth, The Arts, National Trends and Services, International Trends and Services, and Health and Human Services, to improve the quality of life for individuals, families and communities.

Photo Caption: National President Margot James Copeland (left) and National Vice President Glenda Newell-Harris (right) of The Links, Incorporated pose with President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (middle) after honorary member induction ceremony.

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