Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, March is Women's History Month, and I wanted to take this opportunity to acknowledge the advocacy and public service of the members of The Links, Incorporated.
As an organization, The Links has made service to others the founding principle of the organization. Through friendship, we build relationships based on the premise that by our numbers, we are strong. With that strength, we can uplift others.
The Links, Incorporated had as its humble beginning the friendship of two women, Ms. Margaret Hawkins and Ms. Sarah Scott. Formed in 1946, these women worked to engage the African American community in Philadelphia in civic, educational, and cultural opportunities. Each friend invited a friend, and today The Links, Incorporated, is represented by 274 chapters and more than 12,000 professional women of color.
Through its various initiatives, The Links, Incorporated is breaking new ground in providing humanitarian support and closing the achievement gap in our schools. In my role as Chair of the National STEM Career Readiness Initiative, I have used my platform as a Member of Congress to raise awareness about the need for students' science and math literacy, and to increase the ranks of women and minority STEM students, engineers, scientists, and those in academia.
Throughout the history of The Links, we have focused our efforts on children, as they will be the future generations of leaders. Recent initiatives include tackling childhood obesity in our communities, increasing the retention and graduation rates of minority students, and facilitating international involvement and global awareness to serve the educational, health, and cultural needs of people of African descent throughout the world.
Mr. Speaker, throughout the month of March we will be acknowledging women in history who have taken courageous steps and made significant impacts in their communities. The Links, Incorporated, have taken up the call for more than six decades, and through their efforts have transformed the lives of individuals and communities throughout the world.