Last month, before Coronavirus took over in all its attention-needing glory, I wrote a piece for the online magazine, Grit and Grace Project. Thanks to COVID-19, it got lost in the shuffle for both of us, but even though it is a little later for you to join Blackout Trafficking 2020 now, I wanted to share it with you. It is the story of how Blackout Trafficking began (formerly the LBD.Project, or the Little Black Dress Project).

Like most stories, it begins with tension, longing, and looking for meaning. For me, that meaning was always about changing the world. But ordinary and extraordinary things, like in this case, a little black dress, can change the world.

You can read more of it here: How My Little Black Dress Made a Powerful Impact

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Ordinary and Extraordinary Little Black Dress

Here is a teaser:

This time of year my Facebook feed is always showing me memories where I am wearing a black dress. An overlook in Idaho, at the Golden Gate Bridge, on the playground, at that party—in all of these pictures I am wearing that black dress. There are pictures on the beach, in the snow, when I was healthy, while I was sick, and others where I have newborn spit-up on my shoulder. Heck, I have a whole month of pictures where I am flaunting bright red hair like the mermaid, Ariel (still disappointingly finless, but in that black dress)! 

My black dress is ordinary, but it does extraordinary things. For starters, it represents over $75,000 raised to help bring freedom to victims to human trafficking.

It didn’t begin this way. . .

Check out the rest of this story here (or wait until I finish writing the book for everyday world changing moms!)

Oh, and here is a picture from Blackout Trafficking 2020!

Elisa Johnston Blackout Trafficking in her black dress 2020

Years of Making a Difference in a Little Black Dress with Blackout Trafficking

This post is mostly about being a mom, wanting to make a difference in the world, feeling like a failure, but how we can use our ordinary things to do extraordinary things–in this case, fighting human trafficking.

Here are some more pictures to go with the story:

From the first Little Black Dress Project (Blackout Trafficking) in 2012:

Little Black Dress Project 2013

Yep, this was the year I dyed my hair bright red! It was fading out here. And ya, don’t ask me what I am doing. I don’t know. Probably playing with my kids toys?

From the LBD.Project 2014 with a newborn:

Gosh, look how tired I look! I got a lot of spit-up on that black dress that year. One day it I remember I gave up, wore a black shirt that was still damp from washing, while this dress dried.

Maybe next year, the tenth year of this project I will put together a compilation of all my pictures in my black dress. But, for now, feel free to read more of this story of an ordinary and extraordinary black dress at Grit and Grace here.

Also from this year:

Human Trafficking Meets COVID-19

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