melissa_harris-perry_web.jpgWEST PALM BEACH — Melissa Harris-Perry, a professor at Tulane University and an MSNBC cable network analyst, will give the keynote address at the 33rd annual White Rose Luncheon of the West Palm Beach chapter of The Links, Incorporated.

Harris-Perry will explore the theme, “Moving Forward, Making a Difference,” at the gathering scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 3.

Proceeds from the luncheon will go towards scholarships for Palm Beach County students and community programming.

The chapter said in an announcement that it has awarded more than $210,000 to graduating seniors to study fine arts since 1978.

“We view our organization as a vital link in helping our young people achieve academic success by encouraging their love of the arts and motivating them to become productive, well-rounded citizens in our community,” said chapter president Ethel Isaacs Williams.

The luncheon committee is co-chaired by Salesia Smith-Gordon and Jacqueline Smith. Committee members are Destinie Baker, Rosalyn Baker, Delores Oliver Calloway, Constance Gonzalez, Jacquelyn Knowles, Flora Jackson, Brenda Moss, Pamela O’Neal, Upendo Shabazz-Phillips, Angela Sweeting and Donna Towns.

Harris-Perry, the luncheon speaker, is a professor of political science at Tulane, where she is founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South. She previously served on the faculties of the University of Chicago and Princeton University.

Harris-Perry is the author of a forthcoming book, Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America, which will be published later this year by Yale University Press.

According to a statement from the Links chapter, in the book Harris-Perry argues “that persistent harmful stereotypes —invisible to many but painfully familiar to black women — profoundly shape black women’s politics, contribute to policies that treat them unfairly and make it difficult for black women to assert their rights in the political arena.”

Harris-Perry’s first book, Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought, won the 2005 W. E. B. Du Bois Book Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists and 2005 Best Book Award from the Race and Ethnic Politics Section of the American Political Science Association.

She is also a columnist for The Nation magazine, where she writes a monthly column, titled Sister Citizen, and contributes to the group blog The Notion.

The New Orleans resident received her B.A. in English from Wake Forest University and her Ph.D. in political science from Duke University. She has an honorary doctorate from Meadville Lombard Theological School and studied theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York.

The Links, Inc., founded in 1946, is one of the oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of women who are committed to enriching and ensuring the culture and the economic advancement of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry.

Its membership of 12,000 professional women of color serve in 272 chapters in 42 states, the District of Columbia, and the Bahamas. Through its philanthropic arm, The Links Foundation, Inc., the organization has contributed more than 24 million dollars to charitable causes since its founding.

West Palm Beach chapter members have contributed more than 1,700 hours of volunteer services in the past year throughout Palm Beach County.


What: 33rd annual White Rose Luncheon of the West Palm Beach chapter of The Links, Inc.
11:15 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 3
Where: The Ritz-Carlton, Manalapan, 100 S. Ocean Blvd.
Cost: $75 per person
Contact: For ticket or sponsorship information, call Salesia Smith-Gordon, 561-655-9279, or Jacqueline Smith, 561-845-0507. For more information on The Links, West Palm Beach chapter, visit The National website is

Photo: Melissa Harris-Perry