About FDFI

The Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (FDFI) was co-founded in June 2007 by Nettie Washington Douglass, her son, Kenneth B. Morris, Jr. and Robert J. Benz. FDFI is an Abolitionist organization that combines lessons from the legacies of Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington: Abolition Through Education.

The founders represent a remarkable living history. Ms. Douglass and Mr. Morris are direct descendants of Frederick Douglass, the man called “the father of the civil rights movement” and Booker T. Washington, the famed educator and founder of Tuskegee Institute.  Through the union of Ms. Douglass’ mother, Nettie Hancock Washington (granddaughter of Booker T. Washington), and her father, Dr. Frederick Douglass III (great grandson of Frederick Douglass), the founders unite the bloodlines of two of the most important names in American history.

A few years back, the founders were confronted for the first time with solid facts about modern day slavery: millions are still enslaved in every country of the world, including the United States, in conditions as bad or worse than those suffered by their ancestors. They decided that this was not something from which they could walk away especially considering the platform granted to them by their lineage.

Based on their experience and the opinions of leading experts in the field, FDFI founders believe that education and awareness are the first step to ending Human Trafficking in our lifetimes. The organization has, therefore, made it their business to educate the public about this veiled crime with the starting point being young people.

“When we work with students,” says Ms. Douglass, “we can accomplish several things at once: provide an interesting narrative about an important period in our history that is often overlooked; inspire modern Abolitionists; provide timely information that may prevent young people themselves from becoming victims and help create better world citizens.”