Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship Program Expands to 95 Schools

Authored by:
James P. Pellow, Ed.D.

James P. Pellow, Ed.D.

Over 70 exceptional students from the nation’s leading Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) will study abroad this summer in a dramatic expansion of the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship program, thanks to the collaboration and leadership of college presidents, the Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI), and the sponsors and exhibitors of the CIEE Annual Conference.

This year, students who applied for, but did not receive, the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship, were named Frederick Douglass Summer Scholars and each received a $1,500 grant from CIEE to attend a summer 2019 study abroad program. These students, representing 95 colleges and universities, could apply the grant to CIEE programs in over a dozen international locations, including Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Madrid, Paris, and Shanghai.

College Presidents Raise over $60,000 for Minority Students to Study Abroad
Thanks to the bold commitment of 18 college presidents, more than 40 of the Frederick Douglass Summer Scholars were further supported by an additional $1,500 grant pledged by their college or university president. We salute the generosity and vision demonstrated by these globally-minded leaders who embraced the life-changing impact that study abroad can have on their future alumni.  

College presidents who led culture change at their institutions by supporting the $1,500 matching grant include the leaders of Benedict College; California State University, Fresno; California State University, Fullerton; Central State University; City College of New York, Claflin University; Fayetteville State University; Lehman College; Medgar Evers College; Miami Dade College; Morehouse College; Morgan State University; Mount Saint Mary College; Paul Quinn College; Sitting Bull College; Trinity Washington University; University of Illinois, Chicago; and Virginia State University.

Study Abroad Sponsors and Vendors Raise over $150,000 to Support Frederick Douglass Global Fellows
In 2017, CIEE collaborated with the sponsors and exhibitors at our annual conference to donate all sponsorship fees to underwrite the newly established Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship and fully fund the participation of ten students in a four-week summer study abroad program dedicated to developing intercultural communication and leadership skills. 

Since then, over $150,000 has been raised to support the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship. We extend our deepest gratitude to the dozens of sponsoring organizations who have funded this prestigious international fellowship and enabled three cohorts of students from the nation's leading colleges and universities to study in London and Cape Town. Their commitment to international education has changed the lives of 30 future leaders. 

Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions Presents Study on Increasing Access to Study Abroad for Minority Students
Details of the impact of the Frederick Douglass Global Fellows program can be found in a report published this week by CIEE in partnership with CMSI, entitled Diversifying Study Abroad and Expanding Equity for Minority Serving Institutions.

The report analyzes the obstacles of cost, curriculum, and culture that can stand in the way of study abroad and highlights how the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship program addresses those issues. In particular, it demonstrates how the first two cohorts of Frederick Douglass Global Fellows have been shaped by the intentional programming and customized curriculum provided by the program, and have returned home as ambassadors, spreading the mission of the program and normalizing study abroad on their campus.

One of the key features of the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship program is to highlight role models that students of color can embrace. Frederick Douglass taught himself to read, escaped from slavery, and went on to become an international speaker, best-selling author, and advisor to President Abraham Lincoln. His inspiring example encourages students to believe they also have the power to change the course of their lives. In the same way, when Frederick Douglass Global Fellows return to their home campus, they inspire their peers with their unique personal stories of transformation through international study. The fellows become the proverbial ‘pebbles on the pond’ of culture change in their campus communities.

We hope the impact of the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship program, as described in this report, will inspire leaders at other MSIs so all students from all backgrounds can reap the life-long benefits of study abroad.

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