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    Media contacts: Zola Boone
    (410) 997-3661
    Dawn L. Hankin
    (646) 258-4966

    The Links, Incorporated at the United Nations


    New York – (October 27, 2008). The Links, Incorporated held a comprehensive weekend conference at the United Nations to address women’s issues, October 9-12, 2008. The conference workshops covered Women’s Economic Empowerment in Africa, the Impact of Conflict on Women’s Issues, Making Connections throughout the African Diaspora and Exploring Partnership and Collaborative Opportunities.

    The national president of The Links, Incorporated, Dr. Gwendolyn Lee, gave the opening remarks at the conference. In addition to the workshops that were led by several dynamic presenters, attendees enjoyed a welcome reception at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, a luncheon and a tour of the United Nations. Commerce Bank also hosted a reception for the conference attendees on Friday evening. Speakers included:

    • MICHELLE PAIGE PATERSON, First Lady of New York (Metro-Manhattan Chapter, The Links, Incorporated)

    • ANN NICOL, Executive Director, United Nations Association

    • THE HONORABLE OLHAYE, UN Ambassador, Djibouti Dean of the Diplomatic Corp and Dean of African Ambassadors

    • JUDGE NAVANETHEM TILLAY, United National Human Rights High Commissioner

    • THE HONORABLE NYAMURDEZA, Minister Counselor Republic of Zimbabwe to the UN


    Workshops covered Women’s Economic Empowerment in Africa, Empowering Adolescent Girls: Challenges, Strategies & Opportunities, Advocating Our Global Interest: Taking Action on the Darfur Crisis and Exploring Partnership and Collaborative Opportunities. The conference was attended by over 130 women from Links chapters across the country. One Link traveled all the way from Anchorage, Alaska. The attendees had an opportunity to take in a Broadway show and dine at some of New York’s top restaurants. The conference culminated with a worship service at the Greater Allen Cathedral in Jamaica, NY. Dr. Juel Shannon Smith,

    NGO representative at the United Nations for The Links, Inc., stated “The Links have had a partnership with the UN for over 20 years and under the leadership of our president, Dr. Gwendolyn Lee, we have focused on Global Empowerment for Women. Events like this give our membership and the community a better understanding of the issues facing women. The Links have made a global effort to improve the quality of life for women and families in Africa and across the Diaspora.”

    The Links, Incorporated is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that received its original acceptance into the United Nations in 1986 and its Economic and Social Status was granted in 2006. The organization is dedicated to exploring women’s empowerment issues through its International Trends Facet. The organization will provide informative workshops and an opportunity for attendees to network with UN officials, community leaders and activists from across the globe. The discussions will focus on issues that affect women and people of color, and strategies will be developed to empower women through communication, collaboration and cooperation.

    About the United Nations

    The United Nations was established on October 24, 1945 by 51 countries committed to preserving peace through international cooperation and collective security. Today, nearly every nation in the world belongs to the UN: its membership totals 192 countries.

    The United Nations has six main organs. Five of them — the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council and the Secretariat — are based at UN Headquarters in New York. The sixth, the International Court of Justice, is located at The Hague in the Netherlands.

    About The Links, Incorporated

    The Links, Incorporated, founded in 1946, is one of the oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. The Links, Incorporated has a membership of nearly 12,000 professional women of color serving in 273 chapters in 42 states, the District of Columbia, Germany, South Africa and the Bahamas. Through its philanthropic arm, The Links Foundation, Incorporated, the organization has contributed more than 22 million dollars to charitable causes since its founding. In 2006, members contributed more than 500,000 documented hours of hands-on service hours to assist communities throughout the United States, Africa and in developing countries. Washington, DC is the site of the national headquarters. To learn more about The Links, Incorporated, visit the website at www.linksinc.org.

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