Iesha-LaShay Phillips ’22 Awarded Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship to Study Abroad in Dublin

March 22, 2021

Scott Wargo

Portrait of Student Iesha-LaShay Phillips wearing yellow blazer and sitting at table in the library
Photo credit: Jonathan Clark '25

Third year law and society and Africana studies double major Iesha-LaShay Phillips has been selected as a 2021 Frederick Douglass Global Fellow. The award includes a full scholarship to participate in a summer study abroad program focused on leadership, intercultural communication, and social justice.

Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs will co-sponsor the 2021 Frederick Douglass Global Fellows in Dublin, 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 Council for International Educational Exchange (CIEE) announced the 2021 cohort of Frederick Douglass Global Fellows in an online roundtable where Vice President Kamala Harris, Ireland Prime Minister Micheál Martin, and Nettie Washington Douglass, the great, great-granddaughter of Frederick Douglass, congratulated the Fellows.

Phillips is one of 14 student leaders from across the country selected for this prestigious award. Hear from all 2021 Frederick Douglass Global Fellows in this video.

A Bonner Scholar from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, Phillips was selected as a Frederick Douglass Global Fellow because of her academic excellence, communication skills, and commitment to social justice. Phillips works tirelessly to support her community, with a focus in social services and supporting Native American youth. As an ambassador of the Muskogee Creek Nation, she has used her platform to create cultural workshops to promote youth engagement and provide resources to support youth through culture.

“Frederick Douglass inspires me because he escaped slavery to chase his goals, run towards learning and liberation, and expand his impact to a global scale,” Phillips said in her application video. “His life’s journey inspires my ambition to expand my small impact to a much larger scale.”

In Ireland, Frederick Douglass Global Fellows will study leadership, effective communication, and strategies to affect positive social change as they explore the life stories and legacies of Frederick Douglass and Daniel O’Connell.

“It’s fitting that this diverse group of young people will have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills in a place so special to Frederick Douglass,” said Nettie Washington Douglass, chairwoman and co-founder of Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, and the great, great-granddaughter of Frederick Douglass and great-granddaughter of Booker T. Washington. “The welcome and respect with which Frederick was greeted across his tour of Ireland affected him profoundly. I can think of no better place for future American leaders to gain a global perspective and prepare to be agents of change.”

“Frederick Douglass was transformed by his time in Ireland and returned to America in 1847 as a free man, spending the next 50 years of his life agitating for positive change in our world,” said James P. Pellow, president and CEO of CIEE. “We know this group of exceptional students will have a similar transformative experience in Ireland and return home with enhanced skills and passion to change our world for the better.”

The Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship was launched in 2017 by CIEE to expand access to international education to underrepresented students.

To learn more about the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship, visit

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