Frederick Douglass and Memorial Grove Bell

The Frederick Douglass Institute is a collaborative effort to promote multiculturalism.

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Kutztown University Frederick Douglass Institute


The Frederick Douglass Institute is a collaborative effort of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education to promote multiculturalism. The Institute derives its name from the example and legacy of Frederick Douglass. Douglass' commitment to education and dedication to social equality serves as a model for the services and programming the Institute provides.


FDI Mission

The Frederick Douglass Institute at Kutztown University is an organization that encourages development of equality and diversity among faculty, staff and students through scholarships, research, forums, exhibits, conferences and visiting scholars. Our Institute encourages scholarship and facilitates the exchange of ideas around issues of cultural diversity and social equality among members of the campus community. We specifically promotes activities such as discussions, forums, conferences, fellowship programs and exhibits in order to increase awareness of multicultural issues and promote racial harmony.


  • Promote scholarly research on multicultural topics among faculty
  • Facilitate dialogue around issues of cultural diversity
  • Contribute towards the enrichment of higher education with the development of multicultural programs and courses
  • Encourage awareness of cultural diversity in the community
  • Foster mutual understanding and mutual respect for diverse cultures
  • Develop closer ties and collaboration among KU faculty and students with those in the PA State System of Higher Education

Check out our new book!!

Teach About Frederick Douglass Book

Drs. Maria Sanelli, FDI director, and Louis Rodriquez, history professor, co-edited a book entitled "Teaching Frederick Douglass: A Resource Guide for Teachers of Cultural Diversity" released in January, 2012. Fourteen chapters and nine lesson plans were created applying the life and times of Frederick Douglass to modern United States diversity issues. The goals of this project were consistent of those set out by both PASSHE and KU, and include:

1. Providing PASSHE junior faculty members with a peer-reviewed opportunity for publication and

2. Creating a resource for both secondary education and university faculty about teaching cultural diversity in general, and Frederick Douglass in particular.

This project is intended to have a positive impact on both the KU campus and the PASSHE system by promoting, enhancing, and recognizing excellence in teaching, learning, creativity, scholarship and research. Specifically, this project is consistent with Kutztown University's five-year strategic plan by identifying "community engagement" and "caring community" as two of the project's four major goals. This project both creates partnerships with other PASSHE institutions by offering an opportunity for their faculties to publish, but also creates a resource to use in understanding the concept of a caring community.