What is the Little Black Dress Initiative?
The Little Black Dress Initiative was launched in 2014 by the Junior League of London with the goal to "Make Poverty Unfashionable". Instead of attending London Fashion Week, local Junior Leaguers were wearing the same black dress every day to raise funds and raise awareness of poverty in their city. Word of the campaign's success spread and now, so has the initiative itself. Along with Junior Leagues across the county, the Junior League of Indian River is taking a stand against poverty by holding our first annual Little BlackDress Initiative – a campaign to raise awareness of the challenges that face the over 3.2 million Floridians living in poverty.
Poverty means living without the financial support to adequately cover shelter, healthcare, food and other essential necessities. As participants, our members will demonstrate the limits that poverty can play on women in our community by wearing one black dress for five working days:
- To raise awareness of the difficulties facing those who are in need and have few resources;
- To share information about the connection between poverty and domestic violence;
- To understand how limited resources can affect daily life; and
- To fundraise supporting the mission of SafeSpace and their work to offer victims of domestic violence safety, support and education, empowering them to create a safe independent life, free from violence.
Why the Little Black Dress?
The one dress every day represents the lack of choices for those who live in poverty. Wearing the dress is symbolic of standing in solidarity with those living in poverty because contrary to what some might think, poverty can look like any one of us. Our hope is that this initiative will help to humanize and give a voice to the faces of poverty.
Junior League of Indian River has partnered this year with SafeSpace. SafeSpace offers victims of domestic violence safety, support and education, empowering them to create an independent life, free from violence. SafeSpace is the only Certified Domestic Violence Center saving lives 24/7 and preventing domestic violence throughout the Treasure Coast. In addition to a 60-bed Emergency Shelter, SafeSpace also provides a Supportive Living program for individuals in need of longer-term housing as well as outreach services for those who choose not to enter a shelter but whose lives are being affected by domestic violence and to educate the community about the cycle of violence and its prevention. It is known that poverty disproportionately affects women and single moms, women who lack financial resources have more difficulty escaping a domestic violence relationship, and children who grow up in poverty are more likely to continue the cycle of poverty and domestic violence for various reasons. These facts are the reason that this partnership could not be more perfect.
Learn more about SafeSpace click here.
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