What is LBDI?

What is the Little Black Dress Initiative?

The Little Black Dress Initiative (LBDI) is a global initiative started in 2014 by the Junior League of London during London Fashion Week. The LBDI is a five day, social media-driven fundraising campaign that uses the iconic LBD to raise awareness about the mission of the Junior League of Ocala. It costs nothing to participate.

By wearing a button that reads “Ask Me About My Dress”, LBDI Advocates invite dialogue among colleagues, friends and strangers to raise awareness. Funds are used to support the Junior League of Ocala and its community initiatives.

LBDI Advocates will wear the same black dress (or outfit) for five consecutive days to illustrate the lack of resources underprivileged residents in Marion County face and the effects it has on their education, confidence and overall well-being. If a black dress doesn’t fit the participant’s lifestyle, she may wear some variation of a black ensemble throughout the initiative. (Accessorize as you wish).

Why is this campaign necessary?

According to a study done by the Public Policy Institute, approximately one-third of the children living in Marion County are living in poverty. In addition, more than 2,000 children enrolled in Marion County Public Schools are homeless.

The same study states that approximately one-third of Marion County kindergarteners are not ready for school and many children are not attending voluntary pre-kindergarten due to insufficient funding. The Public Policy Institute notes that this could be improved if parents of preschoolers were better educated about the importance of early learning and pre-kindergarten education for their children.

With the Junior League of Ocala’s focus on women and children’s advocacy, we believe that women and children deserve to be empowered through quality opportunities in order to thrive and to be contributing members of our community. These opportunities should develop the whole person socially, emotionally, physically, as well as academically.

To lift children out of poverty, the adults in their household must be able to consistently draw a sufficient income. Unfortunately, with a 3.8% unemployment rate and median household income of $39,383, we have a long way to go.

When does the LBDI begin?

This year’s initiative will take place the week of January 24, 2022.

“Like” us on Facebook to follow along!


Who can participate?

This fundraiser is open to everyone, not just Junior League of Ocala members.

How do I sign up?

Advocates can sign up by clicking here.

How do I donate?

Donate to our campaign page here.

Do you have tips on how to fundraise?

Spread the word about the campaign through social media, using #JLOwearsLBD

Once you sign up to become an LBDI Advocate, you will receive a Welcome Kit with additional information about the campaign.

You can also find resources here.

Who should I contact if I have a question?

Reach out to the Junior League of Ocala’s President, Margaret Anne Mareina at [email protected] or to the President-Elect, Kali Stauss at [email protected].