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Nichole Johnson Named a 2020 Frederick Douglass Global Fellow

May 2020

Spelman Fredrick Dougals Scholarship Winner Nicole C. JohnsonSpelman College rising sophomore Nichole Ciara Johnson, C’2023, has been selected as a 2020 Frederick Douglass Global Fellow. This honor awards her a full scholarship to represent Spelman in a summer study abroad program focused on leadership and intercultural communication that will be held in Cape Town, South Africa.

Johnson was chosen from a pool of more than 2,000 applicant to be the fourth cohort of Frederick Douglass Global Fellows. She is one of 10 high achieving students from Minority Serving Institutions across the country to earn the prestigious award.

Johnson is a psychology major with a mental health concentration from Bakersfield, California. During her first year at Spelman, she served with POSSE (Protecting Our Spelman Students Everyday) in connection with the Public Safety Department, the Miss Spelman Advisory Board, and as a member of the Ethel Waddell Githii Honors Program and the Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society.

A sister to nine siblings, she gained various perspectives on life and she is interested in broadening her insight about people and the world. This desire is what led her to apply for the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship. Now, honored to be chosen as a 2020 Frederick Douglass Global Fellow, she looks forward to developing her leadership as an agent for global change and awareness with her cohort in the summer of 2021.

Committed to Academic Excellence

Johnson has received awards from the National Spanish Honors Society, the Math Honors Society, and the California Scholarship Federation. She is also a recipient of the We the People Constitutional Medal for her superb knowledge of the constitution in its historical and modern context.

She hopes that “the experience in Cape Town will enrich my perspective of the world and allow me to share it with other change agents in my college community.” 

The 2020 Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship program was originally scheduled for July 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. However, due to the global impact of COVID-19, this cohort of Fellows will study abroad in 2021 instead.

About the Frederick Douglass Fellowship

The Frederick Douglass Fellowship, which launched in 2017, is representative of efforts by CIEE to expand access to an international education to underrepresented students.
“Now more than ever, the world needs individuals with strong leadership skills who have the ability to work across cultural divides,” said James Pellow, CIEE’s president and CEO.

“Frederick Douglass was transformed by his international experience, and returned to the States in 1847 as a free man who spent the next 50 years of his life agitating for positive change in our world. We hope that the lives of these Fellows are changed as well, and that this experience will prepare them to become bold, globally conscious, service-oriented  leaders.”
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, declared...

“My grandfathers realized the importance of education and how it changes lives, especially when that education includes developing the wisdom gained through an international perspective. We are excited to partner with CIEE  in the development of leaders that are taught the value of intercultural awareness and molded to be change agents in their communities like Frederick Douglass.”
To learn more about the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship, visit

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