Our Mission

To create a culture of equity and inclusion that transforms the lives of Northside residents and beyond through effective, efficient and quality opportunities.

Our History

The Douglass Community Association, named in honor of Frederick Douglass, was founded in 1919 to address the social, recreational, and cultural needs of African American soldiers stationed at Fort Custer and their families returning to segregated Kalamazoo from World War I.

In 1964, the DCA was recognized as a social service agency. After working out of several locations in the northside neighborhood, the Douglass moved to its current facility on W. Paterson in 1982. 

Throughout its history, the Douglass has served individuals in the Northside neighborhood, as well as the greater Kalamazoo community as a center for social, recreational, and community development activities.

Our Core Values

Being a leader in achieving racial equality and social justice

Identifying unmet needs and finding resources and services to meet them within the scope of DCA’s mission

Promoting the positive effects of youth recreational activities on educational achievement and on physical, mental, and spiritual health

The Douglass provides a safe and welcoming environment to the community and serves as a convenient resource hub in the heart of the Northside.

From leadership

“I’m excited about working with community members and collaborating with other organizations to build on a 100 year tradition of producing programming that equip our youth, adults and families of the Northside to help reach their full potential.  We will continue to communicate to our community the exceptional programming that currently exists.  Douglass programming has included many organizations from St. Luke’s Diaper Bank, to Momentum of Urban Alliance, to Girls Inventing Real Life Solutions (G.I.R.L.S).  In other words, programming at Douglass is fulfilling our vision to ensure that effective, efficient and quality opportunities are available for the development of families on the Northside of Kalamazoo.”

Stacey R. Ledbetter
Interim Executive Director


Dr. Deveta Gardner

Mark Hill

Antonia Kennedy

Charmelle Abdullah

Atty. Josh Hilgart

"I am proud to say that I am a product of the Douglass Community Association. I grew up on the Northside of town in Kalamazoo and back in the early 1990s when crack cocaine hit my neighborhood it had an effect on the majority of all the young black boys that I had grown up with."

Raymond Ryan

"Great place for family events. They offer a safe place for Young women to play basketball. You can get help from from other agencies that are housed in the Center"

Alice Taylor

"In short, the Douglass meant a lot to me and many others in my community and I know for certain that without the Douglass, I would probably be dead or in prison."

Damien James

"Great building and a great staff that goes out of its way to help accommodate needs of the community while events are being held!"

Giacomo Scavone

“The Douglass provided many of us an opportunity to stay positive and gave us a place to go to get out of the streets. As a young man I participated in the activities and development programs that the Douglass offered and while attending college the Douglass assisted me in gaining employment.”

Raymond Ryan

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Get In Touch




(269) 343-6185


M-F: 8AM - 5PM

S-S: Closed

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