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West Chester University Frederick Douglass Institute and Society Collection

Identifier: 056
The West Chester University Frederick Douglass Institute and Society Collection is divided into 4 series: Events, Newsletters, Promotional Materials, and Research Publications.

Series 1 Events is comprised of pamphlets, programs, and flyers related to events hosted by the Frederick Douglass Institute and/or the Frederick Douglass Society. Events in this series include the Frederick Douglass Society Lecture Series (1989-1991), the WCU's Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast, the Historical Marker Dedication Ceremony and Reception for the Frederick Douglass state marker on campus, conferences, and more.

Series 2 Newsletters includes various newsletters created by the Frederick Douglass Institute, such as The Frederick Douglass Centennial Newsletter (1993), FDI Dispatch (1996), and The Frederick Douglass Illuminator (1999, 2001, 2007).

Series 3 Promotional Materials features flyers for the Frederick Douglass Institute (FDI).

Series 4 Research Publications includes publications such as conference proceedings and a research paper. These include the conference proceedings for "Constructions of the American Self: An Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Conference" hosted by the Frderick Douglass Institute, and "The Sista' Network as the New Underground Railroad: African American Women faculty Succesfully Negotiating the Road to Tenure" by Tuesday La'Nette Cooper, J.D., Ed. D.


  • 1987 - 2018
  • Majority of material found within 1987 - 2001

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.


1 Boxes (1 document box)

0.42 Linear Feet


The West Chester University Frederick Douglass Institute and Society Collection contains materials related to the university's Frederick Douglass Institute (FDI) and the Frederick Douglass Society, now called "The Society". This collection includes programs, pamphlets, flyers, newsletters, and publications about or related to the Frederick Douglass Institute and the Frederick Douglass Society. Materials range in date from 1987-2007.

Biographical / Historical

The Frederick Douglass Institute (FDI) was started in 1996 as a collaborative effort at West Chester University to create a memorial for Frederick Douglass, establish an academic initiative to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, and educate the campus and local community about Frederick Douglass and equality.

The FDI's mission statement is as follows: " maintain the legacy of the great abolitionist, orator, and statesman Frederick Douglass before the campus community, local community, region, and the nation through the highest quality of academic programming that promotes excellence in scholarship, teaching, and institutional advancement." (1) The FDI supports WCU students by offering scholarships and supports the local community by offering enrichment programs during the summer and continuing legal education (CLE) courses. Through West Chester's leadership, Frederick Douglass Institutes have been created at all 14 campuses of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE).

The Frederick Douglass Society, now called The Society, was founded in 1983 to honor and to carry out the spirit of Frederick Douglass’ life work through enriching multicultural education at the university. In this spirt, “The Society and West Chester University are committed to inclusive excellence by promoting empowerment through education, social justice through civic engagement, and the advancement of human rights through thoughtful public dialogue.” (2) Membership to the Society includes faculty, administrators, staff, and students. Society members are at the forefront of guiding and supporting the campus community in a variety of causes, such as multi-cultural education, empowerment, equality, and social justice.

Sources: 1. West Chester University of Pennsylvania, “25th Anniversary of Frederick Douglass Institute to be Celebrated on February 23,” WCU News, Feb. 18, 2022. URL:

2. West Chester University of Pennsylvania, “The Society - Home Page,” WCU, Jan. 19, 2022. URL:


Materials in this collection have been arranged into series by topic. Within the series, materials are in chronological order.
West Chester University Frederick Douglass Institute and Society Collection
Jenna (Bossert) Falkenberg; Grace Citro
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the West Chester University Archives Repository