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244 Reviews
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September 18, 2009

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September 18, 2009

As a member of OUDC's class 15, my outlook on life has changed. After spending three and a half weeks this summer with my 29 other classmates, experiencing an intense, educational, and eye-opening journey through New York City and the Deep South, I can say that I have become a much more aware person. I'm aware not only of the many problems people face in our country, but also of how communities on the smaller and larger scale function. I've learned just how subtle some of the largest social problems we face are and how to dig beneath society's surface to find them. But OUDC has also done something with this awareness; it has taught me not only the neccessity of being aware, but also the neccessity of making others aware. Over the summer we took lessons from community leaders, activists, lawyers, politicians, history, and a whole host other sources. We learned first hand what sort of actions need to be taken to create a change. What I took from it was primarily the importance of public awareness. Our country's problems, no matter what they are, will not even be confronted, never mind changed, if people don't understand and are not aware of them. What OUDC has done for me is inspire me to take this message to my community and make it aware. My life has never felt so fulfilling.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the friendships and parternerships it has forstered. Over the course of the program I have made a number of (what I think will be) lifelong friends, people who I would never have otherwise been in contact with.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

September 22, 2010

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1 previous review
September 2, 2009

My son participated in this program. At first, he was reluctant to tear himself away from the summer camp he had been involved with for many years. Once he immersed himself in the OUDC experience, how... more

September 22, 2010

Operation Understanding DC is an outstanding program that brings together young people from the African American and Jewish communities to learn about their shared history and to confront current issues of racism, anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination. It empowers these young people by helping them to strengthen their character and identity and provides them with a set of skills that enables them to become advocates and forces for social justice.

The Great!

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

the ways in which it has helped my children appreciate that although people may have different backgrounds, beliefs, and traditions, we all share a common humanity and a common struggle.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 2, 2009

My son participated in this program. At first, he was reluctant to tear himself away from the summer camp he had been involved with for many years. Once he immersed himself in the OUDC experience, however, he never looked back. His appreciation of the culture and history of oppression of African Americans came alive in a way that has resonated deeply within him. He made enduring friendships that have stood the test of time. He was forced to thoroughly examine his belief system. While he had always been a "fire in the belly" social activist, this experience ignited him.

The Great!

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

being challenged (by my son) to closely examine my own beliefs, values, actions and words.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

their unique approach to bringing youth with different religious and cultural backgrounds together by having them collaboratively problem-solve, live together and grapple with difficult and sensitive issues.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

uniformly highly dedicated.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

August 25, 2009

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August 25, 2009

i am in the current class, CLASS 15 AND i can honestly Operation Understanding DC was one of the best and still is the best experience i have had in my life. From meeting actual Civil rights workers and leaders to hearing inspirational speakers like Joanne Bland who recalled her gut-wrenching story of Bloody sunday and her triumph i have never been so much humbled. Oudc also gave me a chance to explore the fascinating history of the jewish culture and what they have experienced. i can honestly say that addiition will greatly help my life in the future. Not only learning about another culture was great but learning about my own culture as an African American was really moving. All my life I have been proud to be black but i didn't know why since the media portrays black in a negative way, but after this program and going to the deep south and listening to people like Rev billy Kyles and J charles jones I now know what it means to black and I am proud of how far the African american community has come. moreover it gave me a sense of pride in myself. Never will you meet a man who in one year who went from a indifferent person on social justice issues like racism and anti-semitism to now where I am motivated to eradicate these issues and make a difference in my community so everybody can have equal opportunity. I must leave you with one last thing. that is that you can never replace going to historic sites like kelly ingram park and Edmund pettus bridge with hearing about it on books or on tv. Seeing the actual sites where these fateful events happened was one of the most moving and sensitive experiences i will ever have. i stepped on the same ground where thousands of people put there lives on the line. There is so much more i would like to write but I could go on for days about this program seriously.

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The Great!

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

In that I am more open to talk to people about issues plaguing our society like racism, sexism and discirmination. Also I have seen reuslts in that i can talk about these issues with my friends and we will have a nice dialogue.

Ways to make it better...

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

I would make the retreats longer and the journey a little longer but thats about it.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Is the people I met all throughout the program and the members of my class. I don't think I will ever meet such a creative and unique group of people who are all striving to achieve similiar goals. The group leaders were also so amazing. they did so much.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

solve so many issues in america and the world like racism Anti-semitism and discrimination and so forth because of their expanding out to different states. It could really help change so many states in the way they think and interact with people.

Ways to make it better...

If the journey was a little longer and the retreats were 3 days long and the speakers were more interactive but thats only if I would have to nitpick. I can honestly say this program has rarely any flaws if you look at it as a whole.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the sense of awareness of this program. it needs to get more attention. there are plenty of people who want to do programs like this but they just don't know about them. OUDC needs to get more exposure and they need more funding.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

August 18, 2009

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August 18, 2009

As a current member of the OUDC class (Class 15) I must say that OUDC is simply an outstanding program. Not only has the program blessed me with the privilege of learning another culture and group of people, but it helped me understand and appreciate my own. As an African American male who lives in a society where people who resemble myself are not perpetuated by the media as successful and great people, I lost a since of pride in whom I was. However, I now take pride in who I am and that is because this program has helped me to redefine who I am. The final thing that I have truly taken from the program is my new sense of responsibility to fight for social justice and I know I can do it along the side of my OUDC community. I am now creating a Social Justice club at my school, in the process of setting up speeches at local churches and synagogues about oppression, and I am talking to my family about racism and antisemitism. I am now strong enough and passionate enough to talk about subjects that are usually pushed under the rug and this is all thanks to OUDC.

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The Great!

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

my daily interaction with friends and my newly developed passion for Social Justice. I am now empowered to talk out against racial, sexual, and any other slurs used by my peers and family members.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

meeting people who were actually apart of the Civil Rights movement and hearing them share their stories. This part of the experience was one that I enjoyed but was also one that was very powerful and made feel more then obligated to stand up for others.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

amazing people who all had a passion for social justice and who were formally apart of the program.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Extend its summer journey by an extremely larger amount of days and also add more participants.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

August 10, 2009

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August 10, 2009

This one year program is wonderful. It teaches the history of both the Jews and Blacks in the U.S., promotes understanding between the groups, including issues on which Blacks and Jews may differ (e.g. affirmative action, Israel, Islam, etc.) and results in many warm and long-lasting friendships among Blacks and Jews. Originally started in Philadelphia, this program has spread to other cities, such as St. Louis, and is highly effective in helping to assimilate disparate groups of high-school children into an increasingly diverse society.

The Great!

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

I have seen the results of this organization in the participants. Many form warm relationships which they would never have formed because the participants come from different backgrounds (e.g. Black inner-city teens are introduced to suburban Jews).

Ways to make it better...

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

Continue doing exactly the same thing.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The people.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Professional, honest, tolerant of others opinions, intelligent.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Help solve many of the racial and class problems resulting from the lack of understanding between diverse groups.

Ways to make it better...

Other than needing additional funds to help serve the organization's purpose (something which most such programs are always seeking) I can find little in need of improvement.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Raising funds to continue the program.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

August 9, 2009

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August 9, 2009

OUDC taught me more in one year than any other institure of learning did in my entire life. In the program we learned about important Civil Rights figures such as Revrend Billy Kyles, and Doug Jones, the lawyer who, after many long years, brought those who were responsible for the infamous 16th Street Baptist Church bombing to justice. We also met with the African Hebrews, which was a HUGE experience that shook my own moral existence!! We also visited different kinds of synnagouges and churches, some of which were very interactive, and others that were very deep and spiritual, and some that were both. But what really made the experience so much more meaningful was going through it with my classmates and my faciliatators, AJ, Jon, Leslie, and Liz. It was somthing about the selection of my twenty-eight other classmates that was too perfect-not because we all got along perfectly, but because we all had unique perspectives and ideals that we were not afraid to share with each other. That is the kind of atmosphere and strong community that OUDC breeds, and that is why the program helps to create a better sense of Understanding between indiviuals of all kinds of backgrounds, wether they be socioeconomic, religious, racial, cultural, or even age-related. In short, this program is absolutley PHENOMENAL!!! My faciliatators warned me that this program is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and that even if I were to go visit all the same places with the same people, it wouldnt be the same--and they were absolutley right. Throught this program I feel as though now i finally have a purpose, and that purpose is to fight injustice in any way that I can. OUDC has given me the tools to stand UP and speak OUT, and to get others to do the same. (The program even gave me a new passion for reading, which i never used to do!!) I know that anyone who joins OUDC will have their minds opened, and their ambitions focused on building a better tomorrow.

The Great!

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

My school, in other peoples schools, and in some synnagouges where Jewish graduates of the program have become rabbis. Also, my faciliataors who did OUDC have made great strides in their communities by educating their friends & families about wat we learn

Ways to make it better...

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

Advocate more of the same, but try to get more speakers if i could. I would also try to get more people to donate and more people to join, because the program should be larger so more people can learn what we did.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Having debreif sessions with my class. The quest speakers and museums were great, but the debreif session were when we could excahnge ideas on how we felt or what we learned through the day. it was when our puzzle pieces all came together.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

EXTREMLEY intelligent, even though they did teach like sophists or schoolteachers. They were very patient with us when we were tired. Also, they are incredible because they tracked down our speakers and organized the entire program, which shows dedication

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Expand the length of many of the classes & of the summer journey, get more students per class, and possibly give students the money they might need to start campaigns or organizations to further their cause. The program could also advertise more.

Ways to make it better...

The trip was longer. Even though I felt exhausted by the time i left the month-long trip, i knew that there was still much more we could have visited in the South, because we would always have to leave museums early to catch other appointments.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Getting more donations, & getting more people to join. Because the program isnt very big, its often hard to find donors, and so I hope by writing to you the program gains more publicity so it can grow. Kids often dont care about the program enough 2 join

One thing I'd also say is that...

The program breeds a generation of young leaders in a way that no other program can. It showed me how anyone can be a hero in this world (even our busdriver shared his story on how he helped save victime of Katrina!) and it also helped me to branch out.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

August 9, 2009

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August 9, 2009

O.U.D.C. is an incredible organization run and staffed by amazing individuals who make up a team that inspires and equips several dozen African-American and Jewish youth for a unique and necessary purpose. OUDC provides its students with the knowledge and tools to learn more about the rich and complex histories and narratives and contemporary issues involved in each community in the United States, and their interaction and relationship. It is not often in life that a person has the opportunity to learn for the sake of learning. Of course, this is hopefully the case in high school, college, and further higher education, but there are always grades involved and in that sense as a student you work for grades that measure your knowledge. Also, in the long run as a student you work towards earning your degree. Operation Understanding D.C. is not for a grade; its purpose is to enrich the understanding of young Jews and Blacks in the DC metro area of their own histories and the current intricacies of the Black-Jewish friendship in America (and around the world by extension I think). Since OUDC I have been very involved in the Black-Jewish relationship on my college campus, and my experiences and dedication to social justice issues will be a constant in my life in the years to come. Additionally, I an indebted to OUDC for lifelong friendships. Moreover, I now have a handful of friends to whom I know I can turn to for advice, a helping hand, etc. for anything relating to social issues in our communities. We like to think of OUDC as having a ripple effect in the sense that the program touches more than the 32 students in each class - its message that knowledge and friendship can help us overcome historic prejudices in order to eventually eradicate all forms of antisemitism, racism and all discriminations, reaches parents, friends, teachers, family, and others who are related to each year's OUDC Class.

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The Great!

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

The activities of its alumni on college campuses especially. The social-minded careers of its alumni.

Ways to make it better...

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

Hire more staff and include more kids (perhaps run two classes each year...)

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

My memorably meaningful (and fun) experiences throughout my year, and the friends I have made.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Wonderful, truly dedicated people engaged in important work.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Make the world a much more pleasant place in which to live,

Ways to make it better...

n/a

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Getting the word out!

One thing I'd also say is that...

OUDC should for sure be featured on GreatNonprofits and Guidestar.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

August 4, 2009

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August 4, 2009

Operation Understanding DC is a great program for individuals who want to become great civil rights activists and become great community leaders. OUDC has really help me to better apreciate the history of my culture and heritage, and better understand the history of the Jewish heritage and culture. I would definately recommend this program to all youth interested in coming out of their shell, learning more about African American and Jewish culture and heritage, and becoming great advocates of the moral progression of society.

The Great!

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

My church, school, and community. OUDC is constanlty changing the way young people view society.

Ways to make it better...

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

If i ran this organization i would spend more of the programs talking about the culture and heritage of the two communities.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Meeting many of the people i've only read or heard about and meeting people who were actually there during many of these events such as the Bloody Sunday march and the Holocaust.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

the kinds of staff and volunteers that i met were very kind and understanding.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could really give its participants a better opportunity to better understand their culture and to meet more people who were involed or forced to participate during these times. We could really learn more.

Ways to make it better...

my experience would have been better if there was more emphasis on Black CULTURE today oppose to just the history.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Maintaing cultural balance within the curriculum of the program. As well as promoting the acceptance of the differences within diierent cultures.

One thing I'd also say is that...

this is on of the greatest nonprofit oraganizations I know where everyone who participates walks away with something positive and a better understanding of something new, what ever it may be.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

August 4, 2009

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August 4, 2009

OUDC provided me with an experience I will never forget. I made some great friends and such memorable experiences as a result of the program. Our tour through the South was eye-opening, and made me want to create social change.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that it left with me with an memories that will last me my lifetime.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

August 4, 2009

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August 4, 2009

The difference that Operation Understanding DC made in my life is unimaginable. The people in this organization changed me from a person that thinks to a person that acts, and now I know I can make a difference in the world. The greatest experience of my life by far!

The Great!

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

my peers. I have taken what I have learned and given it to my peers who now can share the information.

Ways to make it better...

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

allow more people to get involved. If only everyone in America could be part of Operation Understanding DC.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

meeting people who care about the same things I care about. It helped me gain confidence in my beliefs and be the change.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

helpful, friendly, and most of all influential. They forced me to learn.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the world and create a idea of fairness and peace.

Ways to make it better...

It was not so hot! Other then the heat everything was great.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

money. If only there was more finances given to the organization then they could make even more of a difference.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Operation Understanding DC may not be all over the news or famous, but the difference it makes effects everyone from rich to poor.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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