Two women standing in front of a white fireplace
Ms. Nettie Douglass with Vice President Kamala Harris. Lawrence Jackson, White House Photo Office
Ms. Nettie Douglass with Vice President Kamala Harris. Lawrence Jackson, White House Photo Office

Advocating for a more equitable world

Ms. Nettie Washington Douglass, great-great granddaughter of legendary anti-slavery campaigner Frederick Douglass and great-granddaughter of Booker T. Washington, lives in Augusta, Georgia.

She is Co-Founder and Chair Emerita of the nonprofit Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives ( and a key partner and friend of the Consulate General of Ireland in Atlanta.

FDFI advocates for a more equitable world on the issues of human trafficking and racism.

Frederick Douglass' visit to Ireland

Frederick Douglass visited Ireland in 1845-46 and lectured throughout the country to build support for the abolitionist movement.

While in Ireland, Douglass heard a fellow great reformer, Daniel O’Connell, speak, and was struck by his persuasiveness.

Frederick Douglass wrote of the warm embrace of the Irish people,

“I can truly say, I have spent some of the happiest moments of my life since landing in this country. I seem to have undergone a transformation. I live a new life.”

Connection with Ireland

Ms. Douglass is especially proud of her connection with Ireland and has carried forward Douglass’ legacy by becoming a sharer of this history and story for over 20 years. This has involved several visits to Ireland, including with the late U.S. civil rights icon and Atlanta Congressman John Lewis in 2014.

Social justice

Most recently, Ms. Douglass, at the invitation of the Consulate, was a special guest at the Frederick Douglass STEAM Academy for 9th graders in Atlanta.

When Ms. Douglass speaks to students of all ages, she inspires them and encourages them to consider the possibilities in exploring worlds beyond our own, and how transformative and empowering these experiences can be on our sense of self, our thinking, and our life-long potential.

Ms. Douglass highlights the mutuality between Frederick Douglass and Daniel O’Connell and how O’Connell influenced Douglass' thinking on popular mobilisation to achieve social justice.

Fulbright Commission in Ireland

Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives also partners with the Fulbright Commission in Ireland and the Irish government on the Fulbright-Frederick and Anna Douglass Award to commemorate the relationship between Douglass and Ireland.

It provides opportunities to scholars from diverse, underrepresented communities in Ireland and the United States studying social justice, civil rights, leadership, community organization, and similar topics.