The Little Black Dress Initiative (LBDI) is a five day, social media driven fundraising campaign that uses the iconic LBD to raise awareness about the mission of JLO. Throughout the week of November 12-16th, 2018, LBDI Advocates will wear the same black dress for five consecutive days to illustrate the lack of resources underprivileged students in Marion County face and the effects it has on their education, confidence and overall wellbeing. By wearing a button that reads "Ask me about my Dress," Advocates invite dialogue among colleagues, friends and strangers to raise awareness. Funds are used to support JLO's community initiatives.
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 of children enrolled in Marion County Public Schools are homeless.
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.