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What is the Little Black Dress Initiative?

Little Black Dress Initiative (#LBDI) is a week-long awareness and fundraising campaign that harnesses the power of social media and doing something “a little different” in order to educate people about local issues that Leagues work on in their communities. The 2023 Little Black Dress Imitative will take place from April 17th to April 23rd.

In the New Haven community, our LBDI will underscore the effects of poverty on our most vulnerable populations.

Junior League of Greater New Haven LBDI Advocates wear the same black dress (or outfit) for five consecutive days to illustrate the restrictions poverty places on choices, opportunities, and access to resources. By wearing a button that reads “Ask Me About My Dress,” they invite dialogue among colleagues, friends, and strangers to illustrate how limited resources affect daily life and raise awareness about the basic needs to help break the cycle of poverty.

You can become an Advocate, too! If you are a community partner and want to participate, email

Have questions? Contact

Where will my donations go?

The funds raised make possible the work and mission of the Junior League of Greater New Haven. All donations are fully tax-deductible.

Is poverty a problem in the New Haven community?

Yes! Here are just a few shocking statistics about poverty locally:

  • 22% of New Haven residents are food insecure.
  • 500,000 Connecticut residents rely on snap assistance.
  • 1 in 4 people in New Haven live at or below the poverty line.
  • 26.5% of the population for whom poverty status is determined in New Haven, CT (32.3k out of 122k people) live below the poverty line, a number that is higher than the national average of 12.3%. The largest demographic living in poverty are Females 25 - 34, followed by Females 18 - 24 and then Females 35 - 44.
  • Food insecurity is defined a lack of consistent access to affordable, nutritious food. Food insecurity affects 13.9% of Connecticut residents, but the New Haven rate is 22%-- twice the national average.

Learn more by visiting these resources:

Started by the Junior League of London in 2014, dozens of Junior Leagues have replicated the initiative in their own communities. Learn more about this Association-wide program:

Donation goal

Goal: $5,000.00
Collected: $4,295.00

The Junior League of Greater New Haven is a 501(c)(3) organization and gifts are tax deductible as allowed by law.

323 Temple St, New Haven, CT 06511  |  203.562.5076  |

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