Participants in the event wear a black dress for 5 straight days, along with a button that says “ask me about my little black dress.” They hope the button will spark conversation about poverty in the Athens area. The dress symbolizes the lack of physical expression that the homeless continually face.
“What we encourage our members to do is not make it as much about fashion,” Junior League President Michelle Dickens says. “We encourage them to wear the same exact dress, do not try to dress it up with accessories or try to make it look like a different outfit.”
According to the United States Census Bureau, Athens has one of the highest poverty rates in Georgia. 36.7 percent of Athens residents live below the poverty line, almost double the statewide percentage of 18.2 percent.
“I feel that Athens is a place where poverty is a real thing,” participant Erin Podvin says. “A large part of our population is living in poverty, so being able to open eyes, draw awareness, and have a conversation about it… I think thats very important.”
This year is the inaugural event for the league, and will conclude on February 12th. The organization will hold a “drop the dress reception” at the Hi-Lo Lounge that afternoon.
By: Cameron Martinez