Frederick Douglass Institute

West Chester University

408 Francis Harvey Green Library
West Chester, Pennsylvania 19383
Phone: (610) 436-2766
Fax: (610) 436-2769
Email: fdouglass@wcupa.edu


About the Frederick Douglass Institute

Frederick Douglass Sign The Institute is named after one of America’s best known heroes, Frederick Douglass, the former slave, distinguished author, and statesman. The Frederick Douglass Institute is a West Chester University program for advancing multicultural studies across the curriculum and for deepening the intellectual heritage of Frederick Douglass. Douglass, who was a frequent visitor to the West Chester area, gave his last public lecture on West Chester University campus on February 01, 1895. Guided by the spirit and his legacy, the Institute aims to create opportunities to build a better community for all of us to fulfill our destiny as human beings. Through the leadership of WCU, there are Frederick Douglass Institutes at all fourteen campuses of the Pennsylvania State Universities System.

The mission of the Frederick Douglass Institute is to be a window to the world of knowledge, a catalyst for bridging systems of thought and expression, a light of hope and a place of encouragement for all who seek change. The Institute is a university program for advancing multicultural studies across the curriculum and for deepening the intellectual heritage of Frederick Douglass, the former slave, distinguished orator, journalist, author, and statesman. Douglass, who was a frequent visitor to the West Chester area, gave his last public lecture on West Chester”s campus on February 1, 1895. Guided by the spirit of Douglass and his legacy, the Institute aims to create opportunities to build a better community for all of us to fulfill our destiny as human beings. On October, 1895; however, at the inauguration of an institute named for him in Baltimore, Maryland, Douglass said that the mission was “to be a dispenser of knowledge, a radiator of light. In a word, we dedicate this Institution to virtue, temperance, truth, liberty, and justice.”

The activities of the Institute take place on and off campus. With undergraduate and graduate students and West Chester faculty, the Institute sponsors seminars and forums on selected topics. The Anna Murray Douglass Circle is the name for a lecture series offering to bring leading intellectuals to campus.

At West Chester University, the Frederick Douglass Institute is primarily involved in four areas:

  1. Conducting research on multiculturalism and on Frederick Douglass;
  2. Establishing opportunities for advanced study for public and private school teachers and for members of the academic community;
  3. Sponsoring distinguished exhibits, lectures and library collections;
  4. Collaborating with historical societies and other educational and cultural agencies.