Announcing the 2020 Frederick Douglass Global Fellows

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We are pleased to announce the winners of the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship, which covers all the costs for 10 outstanding students from Minority Serving Institutions to participate in a customized summer study abroad program focused on leadership and intercultural communication. Fellows are selected based on their academic achievement, communication skills, and commitment to social justice — qualities representative of the award’s namesake, African American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and international statesman Frederick Douglass.

The following high-achieving students were selected for this prestigious award from a pool of more than 2,000 applicants: 

  • Luis Gonzalez, Benedict College
  • Mistique Davis, California State University, Fresno
  • Cameron Lovings, Hampton University
  • Kanyinsola Oye, Howard University
  • Ray Vincent De Jesus, Montclair State University
  • Markal Kelly, Morehouse College
  • Hana Mohamad, University of Houston
  • Prevail Bonga, University of Illinois at Chicago

The 2020 Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship program was originally scheduled for July 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. However, due to the global impact of COVID-19, this cohort of Fellows will study abroad in Dublin in 2021 instead. CIEE is also offering the Frederick Douglass Global Fellows a full scholarship to attend an online course on Nelson Mandela, taught by Quinton Redcliffe during summer 2020.

To further increase access to international education for underrepresented students,CIEE has awarded all qualified Fellowship applicants a $1,500 Frederick Douglass Summer Scholars Grant. Because all CIEE in-person study abroad programs have been suspended for summer 2020, recipients of the Frederick Douglass Summer Scholars Grants may apply their award to travel in summer 2021, and they will also receive a full scholarship to take one of CIEE's internationally taught online courses in summer 2020 so they may stay engaged with the world and prepare for their future study abroad experience.

“Now more than ever, the world needs individuals with strong leadership skills who have the ability to work across cultural divides,” said James Pellow, CIEE’s president and CEO. “Frederick Douglass was transformed by his international experience, and returned to the States in 1847 as a free man who spent the next 50 years of his life agitating for positive change in our world. We hope that the lives of these Fellows are changed as well, and that this experience will prepare them to become bold, globally conscious, service-oriented  leaders.”

The Frederick Douglass Fellowship, which launched in 2017, is representative of efforts by CIEE to expand access to an international education to underrepresented students. Nettie Washington Douglass, chairwoman and co-founder of Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, and the great, great granddaughter of Frederick Douglass and great granddaughter of Booker T. Washington, declared, “My grandfathers realized the importance of education and how it changes lives, especially when that education includes developing the wisdom gained through an international perspective. We are excited to partner with CIEE  in the development of leaders that are taught the value of intercultural awareness and molded to be change agents in their communities like Frederick Douglass.”

To learn more about the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship, visit

***Updated 3/16/21 to reflect those 2020 Frederick Douglass Global Fellows who are accepting the award and will travel to Dublin in summer 2021.****

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