Welcome to Charleston-Institute (WV) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated

About The Links, Incorporated

The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. The membership consists of more than 17,000 professional women of African descent in 299 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. To learn more about The Links, Incorporated, visit https://linksinc.org or click here.

Betty Spencer elected Chapter President of the Charleston-Institute (WV) Chapter for the 2023-2025 term

We applaud Betty Spencer for gracefully assuming the mantle of leadership of the Charleston-Institute (WV) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. With more than four decades of passionate and dedicated service in the chapter, serving in multiple roles, Betty is more than equipped for this task. We stand beside her and look forward to her continuing the excellent leadership of our chapter as we work hard to shape our future successes.

Photo Credit: Will Price

Chapter honored to welcome six new members to our esteemed organization

Left to right (top row) Teresa Robinson, Angela Mayfield, Angela Alston

Left to right (bottom row) Stacey Sowell, Wy Jean Sharp, Alice Faucett

Photo Credit: Will Price


We are delighted to welcome six dynamic ladies to the Charleston-Institute (WV) Chapter. We look forward to welcoming new friends and integrating their experience with the mission as we jointly work together to serve our community.

PLATINUM STATUS: Eva Ledbetter celebrates over 41 years of service in the Charleston-Institute (WV) Chapter

An active chapter member since 1982, Eva Ledbetter strives to work in an effective, positive and cooperative manner to be productive for those in need. She is unique in that she has served in every elected position including presiding over the Charleston – Institute (WV) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. In addition, she has chaired and participated in numerous facet and committee positions yielding beneficial and professional results. Eva is an exemplary and friendly chapter member who is deeply compassionate, extremely organized and lives a life of passionate community service. Congratulations, Eva Ledbetter, on reaching Platinum Status in The Links, Incorporated with over 41 years of service!

Photo Credit: Will Price

Addressing food insecurity at Piedmont Elementary School and Dunbar Intermediate School

It is a simple fact that no child should go to bed hungry, but many do so. Thanks to a grant from the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, the Charleston-Institute (WV) Chapter is working diligently on our core program (under the L3 G.R.E.E.N. Basket initiative through the Central Area region of The Links, Incorporated) to supply weekend food to underserved students at two local schools. The Chapter provides bulk food to Piedmont Elementary School, a year round school, and food stuffed backpacks to students at Dunbar Intermediate School on a monthly basis. The food resources feed over 200 children and are a positive step towards actively addressing food insecurity.

Chapter hosts annual donation drive-by for the Charleston YWCA's Sojourners Shelter for homeless women and Families

Chapter members recommenced our yearly tradition of dropping off prepackaged gift bags filled with warm hats, scarves, gloves, socks and books for women and children in need at the Charleston, West Virginia YWCA’s Sojourner Shelter for Homeless Woman and Families. We would like to extend our gratitude to all the members who participated in this event, and to those who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make it possible.

Happy Birthday, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.!

Hundreds of men, women and children attended our 3rd annual multicultural birthday celebration in memory of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Photo Credit: Natasha Hairston-Tyson

Students and adults submitted original artwork depicting Dr. King and his messages in unique fashion for display.

Participants enjoyed crafts, painting a community mural, dancing, an MLK facts scavenger hunt, an individual performance by saxophonist, Israel Brown, an art show and beautiful educational presentations from various contributors including the Xinos Epsilon Chapter, Alexandrea Plear, our own Katherine Dooley, Esq., PAAC’s Youth on the Rise, and the Step by Step Teen Centers.

Photo Credit: Natasha Hairston-Tyson

The Charleston-Institute (WV) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated wishes to express our continued gratitude to each and every one of our volunteers and sponsors for their invaluable support of MLK Birthday Party event and for helping us keep the positive legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. alive.

Photo Credit: Natasha Hairston-Tyson

Chapter presents Leeshia Lee with a Community Champion Award for invaluable and selfless service

The multi-talented Ms. Leeshia Lee was the first recipient of the Charleston-Institute (WV) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated’s Community Champion Award. Ms. Lee was selected because of her outstanding work throughout the community and because she embodies the forward thinking spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Through her FairyBossMother’s and GameChangers programs, she harnesses the collective energy of local professional accomplished mentors to inspire the next generation of children to pursue their dreams and break the glass ceiling.

Photo Credit: Natasha Hairston-Tyson

MLK Birthday party participants join together to paint of piece of history for all to enjoy

Chapter President, Michelle Foster, pictured with a collaborative art piece painted by attendees of our 2023 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Party Celebration. This fantastic mural was created and completed by artist Ian Bode, also pictured.

Photo Credit: Natasha Hairston-Tyson

Chapter honored with a special Black History Month Proclamation from city of Charleston Mayor, Amy Shuler Goodwin

On February 6, 2023, at the Charleston City Council meeting, the chapter was honored to receive a special Black History Month Proclamation from Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin. We presented her with the collaborative art piece painted at our 2023 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Party Celebration. The piece, which was drawn and finished by Ian Bode, will hang at the MLK Community Center, the party venue. We are thankful for Mayor Goodwin’s leadership of our capital city and her continued partnership with the Charleston-Institute (WV) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.

Attending Black Policy Day at the WV State Legislature

Pictured: (left to right) Jennifer Pharr, Michelle Foster, Ph.D., Chapter President, Trina Arnold, Kitty Dooley, Esq. and Karen Williams

Walking for Healthy Living

Participation in The Links, Incorporated’s Annual Walk-A-Thon promotes togetherness, raises awareness about the benefits of walking and the importance of fresh air. The Walk-A-Thon also reminds participants to prioritize their health by staying active to reduce stress, lift one’s spirits and stay fit.

National Wear Red Day Activities

Chapter member wore red on National Wear Red Day to bring awareness of the prevalence of and risk factors associated with heart disease in both women and men and the importance of taking care of one’s body.

Heart Health Awareness Information Session

Dr. Sangeeta Mandapaka, an internal medicine physician with subspecialties in cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology addressed frequently asked questions regarding heart disease risk factors, warning signs and effective preventative methods.

Mammograms and Breast Exams Save Lives

Special guest speakers and breast cancer survivors, Patty Rosebourgh and Tonya Wilson, graciously shared their individual experiences with breast cancer, subsequent treatment and unique methods of promoting breast health awareness to others and encouraging action. 1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime (source: National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.).

Strong partnership with Covestro yields 5th grade students making strides in the STEM field

The Charleston-Institute (WV) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated is proud of our longstanding partnership with Covestro, a world leading supplier of high-tech polymer materials. The purpose of the joint venture is to encourage 5th grade students at Mary C. Snow Elementary School in Charleston, WV to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. Throughout the school year, students participated in engaging activities and learned the principles of chemical properties, engineering and robotics. We offer special thanks to Mr. Herrald, Ms. Poindexter and Ms. Wertman, the 5th grade teachers. We continue honor the legacy of our dear chapter member, the late Mary C. Snow, for whom the school is named, by working diligently to educate children.

Chapter sponsors Ugandan students for Kanawha Valley FOOTMAD Concert

Members attended the Dance of Hope performance at the WV Culture Center as part of a concert series sponsored by the Kanawha Valley Friends of Old-Time Music and Dance (FOOTMAD). Our chapter was a sponsor of the event and hosted two of the Ugandan students.

Awarding Class of 2022 Scholarship Recipients

Recognizing Class of 2023 Scholarship Awardees

Each scholarship recipient was presented with their award on the campus of West Virginia State University in the presence of the Charleston-Institute (WV) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated members as well as their family and special friends. Awarding scholarships to students seeking higher education is an annual objective of the chapter. The application process opens each year in the spring and closes on April 30th.

Chapter celebrates 5th grade STEM Program graduates at Mary C. Snow Elementary School

Chapter members with Covestro partners at Mary C. Snow Elementary School’s 5th grade graduation.

It has been an honor to present STEM programming to the 5th grade students at Mary C. Snow Elementary School in Charleston, WV in partnership with Covestro. Students advancing to middle school took part in a graduation ceremony with their parents and teachers and received blankets from the Chapter in recognition of their hard work. Dr. Pat Kusimo, STEM Committee Chair, charged the children to utilize their gifted blanket for warmth, as a magic blanket to envision the world, and as a cape because every superhero needs one. Special thanks to Principal Destiny Spencer for supporting this initiative and especially to each of our wonderful student graduates!

Charleston-Institute (WV) Chapter Annual Wine Tasting fundraiser provides monies for scholarships and educational programs

The Charleston-Institute (WV) Chapter hosted our 3rd Annual Wine Tasting Fundraiser at the Capitol market, where we raised funds to support various youth development initiatives, including scholarships, educational programs, and increasing youth exposure to the arts. Attendees of the event enjoyed a delightful wine tasting experience and contributed to a great cause. In addition to the wine tasting, we held a silent auction where participants were able to bid on a variety of items generously donated by local businesses and members. We offer our gratitude to Ted Armbrecht and the Wine Shop for an invigorating experience and to the Unit Band for setting a lovely atmosphere of music. Photo Credit: Natasha Hairston-Tyson

Abiding Friendship and Support is the Core of our Chapter and our organization

First in person chapter meeting since the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Friendship Month Program with our sister chapter, the Huntington (WV) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated

Annual Chapter Christmas Party

West Virginia Symphony’s Pop Series Soulful Concert

2023 YWCA Women of Achievement Awards Luncheon

2023 YWCA Race to End Racism

Members attend a book signing for Chapter President, Dr. Michelle Foster, insightful author of Maximizing Impact: Success Strategies for Dynamic Nonprofits.

Chapter members participated in the West Virginia Breast Heath Initiative’s Race for the Ribbon in support of breast cancer survivors as well as continued outreach, screenings, preventative care and research regarding breast related illnesses.

Dancing with the Stars

Chapter President, Michelle Foster, was awarded 2nd Place (Judge’s Choice) in the United Way of Central West Virginia’s Dancing with the Stars fundraising event. As part of the process, Michelle and her partner, Carl Chadband, hosted various fundraising activities and committed to months of practices with their assigned dance teacher. Chapter members showed up in force to support and cheer on the fabulous duo and enjoyed a wonderful atmosphere filled with music and dance.

Photo Credit: Will Price

WVU Institute of Technology basketball game and VIP Reception welcoming incoming president, Terrence Ramon Stuart, PhD, his spouse, Jamilah Stuart and their daughter, Kayleigh Grace.

Book tour for chapter member, Dr. Kristi Williams Dumas, Psy.D. in support of her thought provoking book, Unstuck: Moving Toward Your Ideal Life.

Charleston - Institute (WV) Chapter Members receive Local, State and National recognition

Michelle Foster, PhD (center)

2022 Alpha Impact Award for Service

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated

Belinda Fuller

Promotion to Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations

and Annual Giving at West Virginia State University

Photo Credit: Will Price

Kristi Williams Dumas, Psy.D. and Jennifer Pharr

Leadership West Virginia 2023 Cohort

Photo Credit: Will Price

Katherine “Kitty” Dooley, Esq.

2022 West Virginia Wonder Woman

Photo Credit: Will Price

Karen Williams

2023 YWCA Women of Achievement

Photo Credit: Will Price

Bunmi Kusimo-Frazier, Esq.

2023 Johnson and Johnson Pathways to Trial Fellow

Photo Credit: Will Price

Newly published author, Dr. Kristi Williams Dumas, shares practical tips and insights on how to live a life of purpose and fulfillment.

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted many people in that it forced both isolation and increased contact with one’s inner circle. It allowed for time to reevaluate one’s existence and to learn how to cope with everchanging day to day experiences. Dr. Kristi Williams Dumas, Psy.D. with over 25 years in the psychology field, utilized her time in the pandemic to write an anecdotal and relatable book encouraging others to bravely identify and address disfunction in their lives and use those lessons to move forward to a positive future. Unstuck: Moving Toward Your Ideal Life is available at Amazon.com.

Chapter salutes Dr. Michelle Foster, an expert on nonprofits, for becoming a published author

Drawing on years of experience in the nonprofit sector, Dr. Michelle Foster, PhD penned an impressive and resourceful publication addressing key factors to that lead to flourishing nonprofit organizations. Her insight regarding ways to develop an effective plan of action as one of many stepping stones to a thriving nonprofit is not to be missed. Maximizing Impact: Success Strategies for Dynamic Nonprofits is available at Amazon.com.

Photo Credit: Will Price