Little Black Dress Initiative


The Little Black Dress Initiative (LBDI) is a global initiative started by the Junior League of London to raise awareness of the impact of generational poverty.

The Junior League of Springfield, MO (JLS) will participate in our inaugural Little Black Dress Initiative (LBDI) from February 6-10, 2017. During this week, JLS members will wear the same little black dress for five consecutive days to illustrate the effects poverty can have on a woman’s access to resources, her confidence, and her professional opportunities. By wearing a button that reads “Ask me About my Dress,” members will invite and welcome dialogue among colleagues, friends, and strangers to raise awareness about generational poverty.


Donate to the cause! Our amazing group of women will be raising money for the JLS Annual Fund. Our goal this year is to raise $5,000 – please help us reach our goal! Visit our fundraising site here to make a donation today!


This initiative will help us advocate for poverty awareness and support our mission of promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving our community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. In addition, JLS collaborates with many organizations that help support those affected by generational poverty. Our volunteers help package goods at Ozarks Food Harvest, offer support for at-risk teens at Rare Breed, and provide childcare at Isabel’s House.

See below for a list of organizations and projects that JLS works with to help make an impact on generational poverty in Greene County:

  • Community Summit: Focus on Poverty
  • Ozarks Food Harvest
  • Laura’s Home
  • Isabel’s House
  • Rare Breed Youth Services
  • Habitat for Humanity: Women Build
  • Robberson Community School Collaboration


Generational poverty occurs in families where at least two generations have been born into poverty. Growing up in poverty is one of the greatest threats to healthy child development, and in addition to our mission, JLS focuses on the prevention of childhood abuse and neglect. Poverty and financial stress can impede a child’s cognitive development and their ability to learn. The poverty rate in Springfield has steadily increased in recent years and now affects nearly 25 percent of Springfield residents – this is a higher rate than Chicago or Washington, D.C. JLS is committed to eradicating generational poverty in Greene County, and through efforts like LBDI, we as an organization are able to provide critical education on this issue and help raise money to effect change.