JLLV Kicks Off Second-Annual “Little Black Dress Initiative”

Members of the Junior League of the Lehigh Valley will wear the same little black dress for five days to raise awareness about poverty and its impact on educational disparity in the Lehigh Valley 

 The Junior League of the Lehigh Valley will kick off their second annual Little Black Dress Initiative on Sunday, October 13 at Athleta in The Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley from 2-5 pm.   Athleta will have special promotions going on throughout the day as people shop for a cause. The campaign will run from October 14 – 18, 2019 with additional events including a clothing drive for The Perfect Fit.  

By leveraging the iconic “Little Black Dress” and participants’ social media channels, they will shine a spotlight on poverty and its impact on educational disparity in the Lehigh Valley. During this time members and community partners will wear the same black dress for the entire week with a pin that says, “Ask Me About My Dress,” to spark conversation and spread awareness of the initiative and its objectives.  

In the state of Pennsylvania, 1 in 6 children live in food-insecure households. For the Lehigh Valley, that statistic is 1 in 4 children. Growing up in poverty is one of the greatest threats to healthy childhood development. Poverty and food insecurity stress can impede a child’s cognitive development and, consequently, their ability to learn. The Little Black Dress Initiative provides a platform to engage in open discussions about the effects of limited resources on a family, and its detrimental repercussions on literacy and education in children.

In February 2014, the Junior League of London pioneered the Little Black Dress Initiative with the goal to “Make Poverty Unfashionable.” While their fellow Londoners were attending London Fashion Week that month, local Junior Leaguers were wearing the same black dress every day to work, parties, dinners, and events to raise funds and increase awareness of poverty in the city.

Junior League of the Lehigh Valley President, Laureen Pellegrino says, “The Little Black Dress Initiative was conceived, by Junior League of London, to raise awareness of the effect of poverty, and to be a voice for those in the community. It is an honor for us to extend their tradition for the second year in the Lehigh Valley.  Last year, we raised more than $16,000. This year our goal is to raise $20,000.”

All proceeds raised during the Little Black Dress Initiative will go to the Junior League of the Lehigh Valley’s general fund.  The general fund supports ongoing projects such as educational summer programs for kids and a food pantry that supports food insecure elementary students. 

The Little Black Dress Initiative is not just about a week wearing a black dress. It is about harnessing the power of community to make a difference. The Junior League of the Lehigh Valley works to improve the community they serve by reducing educational disparity and food insecurity among children in the Lehigh Valley.

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