Update on CIEE's Pledge To Do More for Racial Equality and Social Justice

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In the wake of George Floyd’s murder in summer 2020, CIEE pledged to do more to help our country and our world overcome systemic racism and injustice. We pledged to take concrete action to advance our founding mission to create a more peaceful, more just world. We pledged to track, measure, and share our progress. Below is an update on our efforts to increase diversity and inclusion for our people, our programs, and our participants.


Recruiting Diverse Staff
CIEE believes that our staff should represent the communities in which we live and work, as well as the students whom we serve. We pledged to expand our domestic workforce to include at least 30% people of color by 2026 and at least 50% people of color by 2031.
We’re doing it. 
Since January 2021, 37% of CIEE’s new hires in the U.S. have been BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color), doubling the diversity of our U.S. staff from 13% in January 2020 to 26% in May 2022.
Investing in Professional Development
CIEE set a goal of investing in the development of diverse professionals both at CIEE and in the field of international education. We believe that diverse professionals often lack access to the keys of professional development and career advancement, including proactive mentors, diverse role models, and formal training programs.
We’re changing that.
CIEE has established a professional development department to recruit and train young, diverse professionals.Stacy Benjamin has been promoted to Director of Professional Development. Reporting to the President and CEO, Stacy will lead a company-wide recruitment and professional development program for new college graduates and early career professionals.
CIEE also has partnered with AIFS to establish a program for professionals in the field to attend national conferences led by NAFSA, Forum, and Diversity Abroad. AIFS and CIEE will donate $100,000 over three years to support the Ping - Taylor Professional Fellows Grant, which is open to U.S.-based education abroad professionals with special consideration extended to diverse professionals and individuals employed at MSIs, HSIs, and HBCUs.


CIEE believes that the face of study abroad is changing and will continue to grow more diverse in the years ahead. We believe this reality demands that we update training programs for staff, increase programs that embrace diversity and social justice, and create a culture of belonging for all students on every CIEE program.
We’ve made solid progress.
CIEE developed a comprehensive training program for all study center staff on diversity and inclusion. Participation was mandatory and 100% of CIEE’s global staff, including Directors, Vice Presidents, and CIEE’s President, completed six workshops on diversity, inclusion, and belonging. New CIEE staff will complete this education program as they join CIEE.
CIEE updated courses offered at dozens of CIEE locations around the world to provide students with an expanded range of classes on historic and contemporary topics such as race, slavery, community policing, social justice, peace and reconciliation, to name a few.


CIEE was founded in 1947 to deliver programs that help bring the world together and to, in a special way, ensure that all students from all backgrounds, regardless of socio-economic status, can participate in these life-changing experiences.
For 75 years, and throughout the recent two-year global pandemic, we have delivered on that promise.
CIEE provides scholarships and grants that enable the highest percentage of diverse students to study abroad, including:
  • In summer 2021, 51% of CIEE college students self-identified as racially/ethnically diverse; 58% of CIEE high school students were diverse.
  • In Fall 2021, 39% of CIEE college students were diverse.
  • In spring 2022, 25% of CIEE college students were diverse.
CIEE established the leading access program for exceptional diverse student leaders determined to change the world, the Frederick Douglass Global Fellows and Scholars Grant Programs (FDGF and FDSG.)
  • The 2022 Frederick Douglass Global Fellows is the largest cohort since the program was founded in 2017.  Sixteen FDGF will travel to Ireland in July 2022 for a fully funded international leadership program for students of color focused on peace, social justice, and conflict resolution. The 2022 Fellows are an extraordinary group of students, representing a rich diversity of backgrounds, universities, academic majors, and personal stories. The 2022 Fellows share their personal aspirations in this video.
  • The 2022 Frederick Douglass Scholars are qualified FDGF applicants who are awarded a $1,500 Frederick Douglass Scholars Grant towards any CIEE summer 2022, fall 2022, or spring 2023.  In summer 2022, 64 high-achieving students of color will apply their FDSG to CIEE programs in over a dozen international locations, including Amman, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, and Seoul..
  • In 2022, more than 30 presidents from large public, small private, HBCUs, MSIs, and elite liberal arts colleges have pledged to match the Frederick Douglass Scholars grant for their students. This provides a $3,000 total grant to scores of diverse students to study abroad.
  • If your institution would like to demonstrate commitment to diversity in study abroad by matching the Frederick Douglass Scholars Grant, please contact Kyndall Cox, Associate Director of the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship, at kcox@ciee.org.
We recognize that there is a lot to do to make our world a more equitable, peaceful place. We hope our intense and intentional efforts will make a small, positive difference. We’re grateful for our many partner schools and organizations who have joined us in this quest. And we hope that our progress will inspire others to join in the hard work.

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