The Douglass Leadership House

Cultivating black excellence at the University of Rochester


Our Mission

Named after Rochester icon Frederick Douglass, the mission of the Douglass Leadership House (DLH) is to establish an engaging intellectual community where students of all cultural backgrounds can come together and raise awareness of the many facets of the black experience; including culture, politics, history, and Diasporic roots.


In 2012, DLH was created in memory of student Jeffrey Bordeaux Jr. After a tragic incident on campus, a group of Black women came together and sparked a change. Students needed a place to address racism and isolation on campus, as well as allow POC to come together and be our authentic selves.

Our Work

As a part of our mission, Douglass Leaders are involved in projects revolving around one of our four pillars: Leadership Models, Community Engagement, Artistic Diversity, and Conflict Resolution.

Additionally, we host weekly 'Lounge Lessons' where a house member hosts a program on a topic regarding the black experience that they are passionate about. Some of these presentations and discussions have included: Intellectual Property, black cinema, mental health, generational wealth, and much more!

Our Fall 2021 Douglass Leaders:

"Douglass Leadership House shall stand as a visible, accessible space for all individuals and organizations that share the vision of leadership, community-building, and spreading awareness."

Want to learn more? Contact Us!

Instagram: @URDouglassLeaders
Facebook: Douglass Leadership House (DLH)

575 Fraternity Rd. Rochester NY, 14627

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I apply to live in the house?

The Douglass Leadership House releases applications every Fall and Spring. Applicants are required to answer a few essay questions and participate in an interview to ensure they align with the vision of the house. A maximum of 20 undergraduate may occupy the house in a single semester.

How can I give financial donations to the house?

Anyone willing to donate to the house may do so through this link. First, insert the gift amount. Then, edit the 'designation' to be sent to 'other'. For the comment, type 'The Douglass Leadership House' and continue onto the next page.
Any donations would support the house's programming and improvements to the physical living space.

How can non-house members utilize the house space?

University of Rochester students may swipe into the house any time before 10:00 PM daily. The lounge and basement can be used anytime for studying or leisure. Other groups and organizations can also reserve our common spaces to hold their meetings or events. Any request to reserve a space must be communicated via email to

What is housing in DLH like?

The living space consists of 5 double rooms and 10 single rooms. Rooms are distributed on a priority-basis to E-Board members, returning house members, and upperclassmen with valuable campus contributions. Additionally, DLH has a kitchen that includes a washer and dryer. Lastly, there are co-ed bathrooms on each living floor with 1-2 stalls and showers. The bathrooms are cleaned by Facilities workers every morning, excluding Saturdays.
The Douglass Leadership does not simply serve as a residential space for POC; we aim to build a family atmosphere in the house. There are weekly house check-ins and occasional planned bonding events to create relationships and trust among house members.