CIEE Frederick Douglass Global Fellows Conclude Program with Celebration at U.S. Ambassador's Residence in Dublin

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Above: The 2023 Frederick Douglas Global Fellows at the farewell event hosted at the U.S. Ambassador's Residence at Phoenix Park in Dublin. They are passing commemorative batons in reference to the challenge Vice President Kamala Harris made in her address to the 2021 Fellows, asking: “Frederick Douglass passed you a baton. During your part of the race, what will you do with it?”

Last week, the Frederick Douglass Global Fellows wrapped up their four-week, three-continent comparative study of social justice leadership that began in Washington D.C., took them to Cape Town, and concluded with visits to Dublin, Derry, and Belfast. 

At the conclusion of the program, the Fellows were recognized for their accomplishments by representatives from CIEE, Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs, and other program supporters at a closing event held at the American Ambassador's Residence in Phoenix Park, Dublin. The Fellows presented Ambassador Claire Cronin with a CIEE "Globie" award and everyone celebrated the transformative power of international education, mentorship, and exchange.   

Charlotte Yeung, a Fellow from Purdue University, presented a poem that she wrote about her experience as a Fellow that I share with you below:

by Charlotte Yeung

The Gaelic word for love is Grá and the isiXhosa word is Uthando.
There is no leadership without it.
Love, Grá, Uthando dances among us fellows.
I see it everyday–-joy blooming as we sang, danced, and laughed our way through America, South Africa, and Ireland.
The sight snatches my breath, hope growing because we are today’s leaders and we do not sink in sorrow nor wallow in fear.
Rather, we reach out our hands,
welcome new communities with open arms,
Planting a seed of love in every encounter we have.
How remarkable. Because
Antonym a history book and you’ll unearth the marks of each fellow’s past.
There’s history carved in our genes though paper books never inked the stories and names of our ancestors.
We come from forgotten, hard pasts.
And yet, we hope for a better future, a better world.
So we cultivate every community, dream, and hope we have,
New narratives rising from the ashes of our pasts.
In this fellowship, every mentor, exhibit, and conversation made us coil tighter,
our words flowing faster as we connected
Our stories to the now, synapses firing as we hurtled with history into the present.
We spoke humanity into space, put a face to the protest:
Frederick Douglass, Daniel O’Connell, Desmond Tutu.
These leaders planted seeds that still grow.
We followed their roots and saw the fruits of their labors.
We learned how to cultivate, how to sow seeds of change.
So here we are, apotheosis in August,
Ready to plant seeds in every community we’re in,
Ready to spread Grá, Uthando, Love.


The ceremony was a joyous close to the 2023 Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship, honoring the legacy and impact of Daniel O'Connell, Frederick Douglass, and all the social justice leaders who have encouraged the next generation to build bridges of peace and work towards a better world.