CIEE Launches the 2023 Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship

Authored By:


The Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) today launched the 2023 Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship at an event in Atlanta hosted by the Consulate General of Ireland in the Southeast USA honoring Nettie Washington Douglass, chairwoman and co-founder of Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives and the great-great-granddaughter of Frederick Douglass.

The Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship was founded in 2017 as part of CIEE’s commitment to increasing access to study abroad for students in underrepresented groups. The 2023 fellowship covers all program costs and airfare for 12 exceptional student leaders of color selected for their demonstrated commitment to nurturing peace and progress in our world by building bridges to those with different viewpoints.

Next summer, the 2023 Frederick Douglass Global Fellows will embark on a three-continent global journey of discovery that will take them to Washington, D.C., Cape Town, Dublin, and Belfast for a comparative study of the social justice leaders instrumental in building historic bridges to peace, including Americans Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, South Africans Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu, and Irishmen Daniel O’Connell and John Hume.

The Government of Ireland will cosponsor the 2023 Frederick Douglass Global Fellows in honor of the historic meeting in 1845 between Frederick Douglass and Irish reformer Daniel O’Connell, and in celebration of Ireland’s commitment to social justice and peace building.

"It makes me so happy to gather together this morning to celebrate this remarkable history of connection and inspiration in the name of justice, rights, and freedom for all, spanning the Atlantic and spanning centuries of Irish and American history," said Caoimhe NiChonchuir, Consul General of Ireland in Atlanta, at the launch event.

Frederick Douglass alum Kamayah Scruggs from Spelman College shared what was meaningful to her about her time as a 2022 Frederick Douglass Global Fellow. “I came to Ireland scared, nervous, and excited but l left Ireland with a family and the inspiration to be a global changemaker," she said.

“It is really important for diverse students to have the opportunity to follow Douglass’ legacy in Ireland, but also feel the warmth of the Irish people," said Kyndall Cox, director of the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship. "It creates such a transformative experience for our students."

“Like Frederick Douglass more than 175 years ago, the future leaders on this program will return home from their time abroad with an enhanced global perspective on social injustice,” said James P. Pellow, president and CEO of CIEE. “Just as Douglass’ style of agitating for positive social change through non-violent social and political efforts was influenced by his meeting with Daniel O’Connell, the Fellows’ future changemaking efforts will be shaped by their comparative study of international peacebuilders and the personal connections they forge with their peers during the program.”

In addition to funding the Frederick Douglass Global Fellows, to provide more students with the chance to study abroad, CIEE provides all qualified students who complete the fellowship application a $1,500 grant to attend any CIEE study abroad program through Summer ’24. Known as the Frederick Douglass Scholars Grant, this award is matched by many colleges and universities, making an international education experience financially attainable for many more students from diverse backgrounds.

To learn more about the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship, visit


Press contact: Leslie Taylor,