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Programs and Services

To honor Frederick Douglass' commitment to education and diversity, The Kutztown University Frederick Douglass Institute sponsors the following programs and services:

FDI Gear Up Program

 KU Gear at Multicultural CenterThe KU FDI program serves as a conduit to provide a bridge from the GEAR UP high school experience to university life by supporting academic success of program participants through high-impact experiences that engage and motivate participants. Weekly meetings provide our students with acccess to financial aid advice, networking opportunities, academic workshops and social activities. Particular attention is placed on connecting our Gear Up students through involvement with other FDI programs.



Road Trips

House Front

The Frederick Douglass Institute at Kutztown University sponsors trips to sites that honor the mission and legacy of Frederick Douglass. These trips prompt participants to actively consider historical events in relation to contemporary issues, they provide an opportunity for practical application of classroom knowledge and they create positive experiences with individuals of diverse cultures and interests. Our trips are open to students and faculty advisers.



Brian Johnson speaking to KU students

The Frederick Douglass Institute at Kutztown University sponsors a discussion series to facilitate dialog around issues of cultural diversity and social equality. In doing so, the Institute creates a forum for individuals of varying backgrounds to interact, encourages members of the campus community to share their cultural and personal experiences, exposes participants to the experiences and contributions of underrepresented groups and stimulates the exchange of ideas concerning issues of diversity. The colloquia is open to all members of the university community.

FDI Living Learning Community

 Dr Sanelli speaking with LLC studentsThe Frederick Douglass Institute Living Learning Community (FDI LLC) offers incoming freshmen of all majors an opportunity to adjust to college life and explore their academic interests while developing relationships with other KU students, faculty and staff. The FDI LLC uses the example of Frederick Douglass and other distinguished individuals to promote academic excellence and enhance students' understanding and appreciation of human diversity. Students who join the FDI LLC will live together in the KU residential hall and participate in academic and co-curricular activities. The FDI LLC activities will inform students about the academic and social resources available at KU as well as raise awareness about the impact of cultural and ethnic diversity on American society.

FDI Scholar in Residence

Student and ProfessorsApplicants for the FDI Scholar in Residence program should have a demonstrated record of leadership, social involvement and commitment to diversity in education. Scholars typically teach classes, do collaborative scholarship and service during their time at Kutztown University. A program is uniquely designed to match the needs of the university to the professional interests of the scholar. FDI Scholars-in Residence visit the campus for a week during the semester or a five week period in the summer. Most often, this program offers teaching positions to graduate students preparing to become college professors.

Walking in the Shoes of...

Faculty Speaking to Students

The Frederick Douglass Institute at Kutztown University provides opportunities for children in the foster care system to shadow administrators and faculty members at Kutztown University. Through this initiative, the Institute promotes the pursuit of education by providing disadvantaged youth with tangible examples of academic success, creating positive experiences with higher education, providing mentors for students and instilling the idea that education is a viable option.



Award Winners The Frederick Douglass Institute at Kutztown University recognizes academic excellence by presenting awards to faculty, administrators, staff and students at the university. The Institute maintains that award recognition contributes to the development of equality and diversity by encouraging underrepresented students to fulfill their educational goals, promoting research in fields related to multiculturalism, recognizing efforts to incorporate multicultural themes into curriculum and validating educational efforts towards building an inclusive university community.

FDI Graduate Assistantship

Graduate Assitants

The assistantship is awarded annually to a full time graduate student at Kutztown University who demonstrates a desire and ability to promote cultural diversity and social equity. The graduate assistantship provides a full tuition waiver and a $7,500 stipend for the academic year.