Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship

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The program explores the impact that effective leaders have had on social justice movements and critical peace and conflict resolution efforts around the world. 

Frederick Douglass Global Fellows will explore conflict and injustice from various perspectives and the leaders who sought to affect positive change for their communities and their countries.  Fellows will return to America with new perspectives on how effective leaders influence positive social change and inspired to be the catalyst for positive change in their communities and in our world.

The Fellowship honors the legacy of the abolitionist and statesman who himself traveled abroad in 1845 and experienced first-hand efforts to overcome religious injustice, gender injustice and racial injustice.  He returned to America in 1847 transformed and inspired to agitate for positive social change.

This Fellowship is a fully funded summer study abroad program designed for students of color as part of CIEE’s commitment to open doors for all students from all backgrounds.

Selection is in the spirit of Douglass himself, with special emphasis on leadership, effective communication, experience in agitating for positive change, and a commitment to cross-cultural respect and understanding. 

Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs will co-sponsor the 2022 Frederick Douglass Global Fellows in Ireland, to honor the 175th anniversary of the meeting between 27-year-old abolitionist Frederick Douglass and the Irish reformer Daniel O’Connell in Dublin in 1845. 

The sixth cohort of Fellows will be based in Dublin and follow in Douglass’s footsteps with visits across the country in summer 2022.

The Journey

Just as Frederick Douglass was transformed by his time in Ireland, you will return transformed, inspired, and better prepared to agitate for positive change in our world.

The Program

  • Program Highlights

    The 2021 Fellows followed in Douglass’s historic footsteps, visiting sites across Ireland that Douglass visited in 1845.

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  • Academics

    The core element of the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship program is a CIEE-designed academic course Transformational Leadership Across Cultures.

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  • Hear from the Fellows

    The 2021 Frederick Douglass Global Fellows explain what the program meant to them.

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How to Apply

Eligibility Requirements

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FREDERICK DOUGLASS GLOBAL FELLOW APPLICANTS MUST:

  • Be a current undergraduate freshman, sophomore or junior
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.00
  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or permanent resident
  • Identify as an ethnicity typically underrepresented on study abroad programs (e.g. American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander).
  • Submit a complete application no later than February 14

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

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Items below should be submitted through the online application.

  • Letter of Recommendation from a faculty member or administrator at your institution
  • Copy of most recent transcript
  • Personal Video

AWARD DETAILS

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  • Award will cover the full cost of travel to and from participation in a four-week, 3-credit study abroad program sponsored by CIEE.
  • Sixteen (16) will be selected.
  • Fellows are expected to present and share their study abroad experience with their campus community upon their return to campus.

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the background of the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship?
CIEE began the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship in 2017 to empower students of color – who are traditionally underrepresented on study abroad programs – with a curated study abroad experience focused on leadership, intercultural communication, and the tools needed to create positive change. Fellows are selected based on their academic achievement, communication skills, and commitment to social justice.

What will the Fellows study?
The program explores the impact that effective leaders have had on social justice movements and critical peace and conflict resolution efforts around the world.  Frederick Douglass Global Fellows will explore conflict and injustice from various perspectives and the leaders who sought to affect positive change for their communities and their countries.  Fellows will return to America with new perspectives on how effective leaders influence positive social change and inspired to be the catalyst for positive change in their communities and in our world.

Nettie Washington Douglass, the great, great granddaughter of Frederick Douglass and co-founder of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, has supported the Fellowship since its inception. To use her words, “We are excited to participate in the development of leaders that are taught the value of intercultural awareness and molded to be change agents in their communities like our great ancestor, Frederick Douglass.”

Where will the Fellows study?
The Fellows will be based in Dublin and travel around the country where Douglass campaigned against slavery and oppression in 1845. Co-sponsored by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, the Fellows will have the opportunity to meet Irish government representatives, as well as the leaders of organizations who support social justice and the advancement of diverse communities in Ireland. You can watch Nettie Washington Douglass’s August 2020 interview with CBS This Morning about her ancestor’s journey to Ireland on YouTube.

What are the dates of the program?
This summer’s cohort will study from July 11 to August 6. Please note these dates are subject to change. Please confirm with CIEE before making any travel plans.

Is the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship a full scholarship?
The award covers the full cost of travel, housing, program field trips, and participation in a four-week summer study abroad course taught by CIEE. Meals and recreational activities are not covered.  

Who is eligible for the Fellowship?
We invite applications from first-, second- and third-year students who have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and are from ethnic backgrounds typically underrepresented on study abroad programs.

How do I apply?
The application is online at ciee.org/FDGF and due on February 14, Frederick Douglass’s birthday. Applicants must submit a recent transcript (an unofficial version is acceptable), a letter of recommendation, and a 3-4 minute video that answers at the following questions:

  • How are you inspired by the life and legacy of Frederick Douglass?
  • Why are you interested in this study abroad opportunity?
  • How have you tried to solve a social problem or improve the lives of others?

What should I know about the application?
Request your letter of recommendation well in advance of the deadline. You must secure this recommendation from someone at your college or university. You can request this from the president, chancellor, provost, vice provost, dean, administrator or faculty member who knows you.

In the application, you will submit the name and email address of the person you are requesting a recommendation from. The recommender will automatically receive an email with directions to upload his or her letter of recommendation to your application. Your recommender’s letter must be received by the February 14 application deadline.

Your video is another critical component. We hope that you will use it to share your story, and why you are uniquely qualified to take advantage of this opportunity.  

How many students will be selected for the Fellowship?
This year we expanded the class from ten to sixteen fellows.

Is the Fellowship competitive?
Yes, the Fellowship is competitive, but somebody has to be chosen and it might be you! Additionally, even if you’re not selected for the Fellowship, all eligible applicants receive a $1,500 grant that may be used for a CIEE Summer 2022, Fall 2022, or Spring 2023 program.  Many have been successful raising the remainder of the program fee from their institution or other scholarships.

When is the application due?
Completed applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. ET on February 14. Late applications will not be considered for any reason and all application tasks must be finished in their entirety.

When will the selection of the Fellows be announced?
March 17 – Saint Patrick’s Day – of course!

Where can I find more information?

  1. Visit our website: www.ciee.org/FDGF
  2. Follow us on Instagram: @ciee_Douglass
  3. Email us with your questions: FDGF@ciee.org

Applications are open

Become a Frederick Douglass Global Fellow

Apply by February 14

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Follow @ciee_douglass

Frederick Douglass Scholars Grant

This grant is awarded to all qualified applicants of the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship who are not selected for a fellowship. Qualified applicants get $1,500 toward a CIEE program.

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See and Hear from Our Previous Fellows

  • 2021/20 Dublin Fellows

    Some more from our 2021/20 Dublin group.

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  • 2019 London Fellows

    Some more from our 2019 London group.

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  • 2018 Cape Town Fellows

    Some more from our 2018 Cape Town group.

    Learn more
  • 2017 London Fellows

    Some more from our 2017 London group.

    Learn more

What People are Saying

  • “Frederick Douglass passed you a baton, during your part of the race, what will you do with it?"
     

    Vice President Kamala Harris
  • "We are excited to participate in the development of leaders that are taught the value of intercultural awareness and molded to be change agents in their communities like our great ancestor, Frederick Douglass."

    Nettie Washington Douglass, chairwoman and co-founder of Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, and the great granddaughter of Frederick Douglass
  •  “Through study abroad, I began to identify and refine skills that will empower me to network anywhere in the world. My quest to expand beyond the lessons of the classroom were encouraged by my wonderful professors at CIEE, who purposefully created an atmosphere of curiosity and empathy during our time abroad.”

    Meghan Sowersby, FDGF 2017
  • “Céad míle fáilte to the Fellows in Ireland exploring the legacies of abolitionist Frederick Douglass and Daniel O’Connell on leadership and social justice. “

    Ireland's Taoiseach Micheál Martin
  • "As I questioned preexisting beliefs and learned about lived experiences different from those in my country, my world became bigger. This gave me the insight to see myself in the context of a larger and beautifully complicated global picture. Travel and exposure to newness has now become a central priority to me, and I know that my CIEE experience abroad is a gift that will continue to give throughout my lifetime."

    Sophia Jackson, FDGF 2021
  • "Because of this fellowship, I grew confident in my communications skills and learned how to be a strong communicator, just as Frederick Douglass was. I returned home with a heightened consciousness regarding effective interpersonal communication practices— an essential tool that every aspiring global leader should have. The culture of this program has brilliantly fostered all the necessary aspects I need to become a global leader."

    Brielle Smith, FDGF 2021

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