Operation Understanding DC

Rating: 4.98 stars   244 reviews

Issues: Civil Rights, Arts & Culture, Children & Youth, Race, Economic Development

Location: 3000 Connecticut Avenue, NW Ste 335 Washington DC 20008 USA

Mission: Operation Understanding DC's mission is to build a generation of community leaders who will work to eradicate racism, anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination, and to promote respect, understanding and cooperation within their communities.
Results: Thus far, more than 450 students and their families have directly participated in OUDC’s award-winning program, and, through their outreach efforts, over 50,000 students and adults have been engaged in fulfilling the organization’s overall goal: creating a society where all members have equal access to opportunity and freedom from discrimination.
Target demographics: Black and/or Jewish high school juniors in the Washington metropolitan area are encouraged to apply in the fall.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 24 students and their families
Geographic areas served: Washington, DC metropolitan area
Programs: our year-long, experiential learning program that transforms curious high school juniors and graduate into committed leaders for social justice. Throughout the year, they meet in board rooms and church basements around Washington for educational sessions and honest dialogue about slavery, the Holocaust, the Civil Rights movement, current national and international issues, religion and spirituality, and much more. In July, they travel from New York City to the Deep South to explore their histories and create their blueprints for future activism. Each day is filled with inspirational speakers, educational tours and life-changing experiences. Upon returning, OUDC’s students begin the real work of creating change. They give presentations about their experiences in synagogues and churches, facilitate workshops about stereotyping and discrimination for individuals from all age groups and find other creative ways of promoting respect and understanding.
2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 52-1822488
202.234.6832
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

It is important that divergent views of all peoples in our society become respected and that the ingetrity of those in society with whom we differ is maintained. OUDC teaches participants to celebrate our differences and to impart that knowledge and passion for inclusion to others who are touched by the students who facilitate and teach. Training the leaders of tomorrow to foster inclusion of ideas, views, colors, races, sexual orientations, etc is critical if the United States is going to maintain its leadership on the world stage. I applaud OUDC. As a parent of a person in Class 17 and a civil rights lawyer, I am proud of this organization and its results.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have seen the impact this organization has had so far on my son who is a participant.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None

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Rating: 5 stars  

As a parent of a former participant (Class 10) and a current Board Member, I cannot laud and support the mission and program of Operation Understanding enough. The exposure provided to the participants, and by virtue of that their friends and family, has been described as inspirational, momentous and an awakening. The Black and Jewish youth involved seem to find a direction that put them on a life-track of giving, sharing and positive change. What a difference involvement can make!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Personnally, the results were noted first-hand through my daughter's experience and positive growth and that of the friends she made at OUDC.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would want to see more stable funding sources developed.

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Rating: 5 stars  

A teenager who recently took part in Operation Understanding's program provided it with the greatest compliment: he told me it changed his life. Now in college, he is studying urban development as a way to put some of the ideas he talked about during the year-long program to practical effect.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

See above

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None

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Rating: 5 stars  

OUDC has served our school incredibly well. Each year their staff and youth participants lead workshops on Diversity in our school and prompt important conversations between and among our students. Our student participants rave about their experience in this program and develop maturity, sensivity, awareness and strength in leadership that will serve them in all relationships and experiences their life time through. Even our staff has participated in development training with OUDC's support and assistance. I feel very fortunate to benefit from the very large greatness of this relatively small program in so many ways.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The conversations between and among high school students of all ages prompted by OUDC programs has been inspiring. The transformative experiences our students have had who have been participants in this program - it is a life altering experience. OUDC has also helped us with staff development on the topics of diversity, sensitivity and fostering a more inclusive social environment at our school.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Duplicate them just the way they are, everywhere possible to serve young people and our communities.

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Rating: 5 stars  

i have both recommended students for the Operation Understanding program and had OUDC students present to my class. In both situations, the result of involvement with OUDC was wonderful.

My class last year that had presentations from OUDC had their eyes opened to the lack of understanding or knowledge they had about their classmates and community. They began to look at individuals less from the outside and more from their actions.

This year, I recommended one of my students for participation in the program as a new transfer student at our school. His experience has made him feel that he can learn and change from exposure to new and different people. The experience encourages him to learn and grow rather than get stuck in the place he began.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my classroom.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

allow more students to participate.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I've provided briefings for the students in Operation Understanding. The students are inspiring to me--thoughtful, engaged and serious about finding new understandings about and across race, religions and other differences. This is remarkable leadership development for the next generation.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have been a presenter for the group.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Support them to expand their work.

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Rating: 5 stars  

My daughter is a member of Class 17, and I recently spoke with a parent from Class 1, who said that OUDC was central to her son's entire high school experience and in some ways made him the person he is today. My daughter is so excited and amazed at how open the kids are and how quickly they connected. I am thrilled with the beginning of this program, and can't wait to watch it unfold. What an opportunity for these kids, and what an opportunity to change the world! Thank you, OUDC!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My daughter's experience.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

No changes yet.

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Rating: 5 stars  

My son was an OUDC participant in Class 5. Now some 10 years later, I see the impact on him and his fellow class-mates. They are aware, engaged, articulate champions of respect and inclusion, working around the world to improve the lives of people of all backgrounds. Each person touched by OUDC touches many others on a daily basis.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As the parent of a participant and as part of parent dialogues.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase the number of students served each year.

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Rating: 5 stars  

OUDC is one of the best non-profits in Washington, DC. It teaches sustainable life lessons and leadereship skills to young adults that transcend daily and normal experiences.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The experiences gained by my daughter who particiapated in the program nearly ten years ago.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Do nothing. It's good as is!

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Rating: 5 stars  

We have known a number of young people who participated in Operation Understanding in the recent past. They are all incredible young people with a desire to give back to society. I am not sure if they started out that way or became that giving through their participation in the program. My children have been grown for a long time, but if there had been OU when they were teens, there would have been no question, but they would have been involved in the program. I have been to the graduations and have heard young people speak about their experiences. Impressive to say the least!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

observation

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would lengthen the program to include a trip to Israel.

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