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  

I heard about Operation Understanding DC through a friend who is in the graduating class before me. Initially I was nervous about joining the organization. I thought I would be thrust into intimate situations with 22 strangers and this made me a little uneasy. Now, a senior, going into her last 5 months of OUDC it is bittersweet. My classmates and I came in strangers, we are now a unique family. I will miss the retreats and memorable speakers like Georgette Norman, director of the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery, Alabama. Though these thoughts are sad I am overjoyed and excited in entering the facilitation and speech making portion of our year long leadership program. I believe whole heartedly that my classmates and I will build a generation of community leaders that will promote respect and understanding in our communities, we WILL work to eradicate racism, anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination, we will make this world a better place.

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

...the participation of the year long program.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

I first heard about Operation Understanding DC (OUDC) through my high school. When I read about the program, it made me realize that there was a good chance to learn about my history as well as others. OUDC is a program that brings African Americans and Jewish students together to explore their history while also working to promote respect. During this past summer, we took a 23-day journey, following the path of the freedom riders. It was one of the most enriching experiences. I met mayors of different cities as well as people who contributed and partiicipated in the civil rights movement. I got a lot out of the journey, and not only did I learn about history, but I also touched it. It was so amazing because it opened my eyes and changed my outlook on life. I now valu emy life more than ever because I know some of the sacrifices that people have made to get me here today.

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

During the summer journey of 2010 for 23 days.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

OUDC is an amazing organization. As a current participant, I can't even begin to describe all that I have learned and gained from this program. We have learned about different cultures and have been challenged to analyze our connections to our own. We have learned about activism, oppression, power, and many other relevant issues. This experience has been invaluable for me.

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

my own enhanced perspective of different issues.

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

the amazing and unique people I've met, bonded with, and learned from.

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

great, they really knew what they were doing.

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

reach many more people and have an even greater positive impact on the community

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

The experinece of OUDC is impossible to describe with words, but the knowledge and relationships I have gained not only changed my world and my self perception, but will continue to encourage me to change the world.

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

my every day life, because the impacts of this program are far reaching and applicable.

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

make the process longer. I don't want it to end.

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

the people in the program and the people we met.

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

inspiring.

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

reach even more students!

Ways to make it better...

it did not have to end so soon!

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

the bad economy.

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

this program has truley made me a better person and will allow me to change the world.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

Throughout the years, my experience in oudc has had an tremendous impact on how I interpret the world. I think more critically about the possiblie perspectives of others and look for empathetic connections.

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

they are committed to the growth of their participants during and after the program

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-5-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I have had an amazing experience with Operation Understanding DC. When I joined this program, I did not feel I had that leadership capability. But over the year while I worked with them, I came into my own. What developed my leadership skills most was, as a member of OUDC, I fascilitated discussions on stereotypes, labels, prejudice etc.

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

change the world. The amazing part of OUDC is how it manages to make participation FREE. this includes food, hotels over our summer journey as well as during weekend-long retreats and transportation while we were in the deep south.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

being a part of the 9th class of OUDC truly shaped my perspective on the world and has had an influence on my thought process since I was in the program. Looking back, I know my year with OU influenced my education and career choices. I am now studying for a Master's in Social Work with a concentration on Community Organizing and working with minor juvenile offenders in Baltimore City.

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

help to shape the minds of young and developing leaders to make conscious decisions through their lifetimes,

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

Operation Understanding DC remains one of the most formative experiences of my life. I came in hoping to learn more about the history and culture of Black and Jewish people; I came out with meaningful, lifelong friendships and a passion for educating others about issues of identity and discrimination. A lot of the activism I participate in at college I can directly credit to my experience in OUDC. It is an amazing program that teaches you about yourself and your ability to change the world. After spending six months learning about the history and culture of Blacks and Jews with my 31 other Black and Jewish peers, we embarked on an amazing three-week summer journey. Meeting with civil rights leaders of the past and present, and staying up late into the night discussing complex issues of identity, privilege, and power formed unbreakable bonds among the participants and left us forever committed to be active in our communities. As we crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the site of Bloody Sunday, we tossed a pebble over the side and watched as it made ripples that grew and grew. OUDC is like that pebble; touching so many individuals, it continues to create little ripples that will one day grow into waves of change.

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

the lifelong friendships I've made and the dedication to activism that I formed

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

It is difficult to describe in words how meaningful my OUDC experience was, and how important it has been to my life. It was in OUDC that I was truly introduced to brilliant, enthusiastic people of different backgrounds and cultures. It was in OUDC that I learned how important it was to devote my life to improving my community and society at large. The staff has had a tremendous impact in building my self-confidence, public-speaking ability, and understanding of people whose lives differ from my own. OUDC taught me to question what I thought I knew, and seek out the answers that I recognized I did not know. Nearly a decade later, it remains in many ways the most important formative experience of my life.

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

My academic, professional, and personal successes.

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

not change a thing. Perhaps ensure they get all the funding they need.

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

The relationships I've made with the staff and my fellow alumni.

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

Caring, brilliant, and life changing.

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

Go a long way in solving many of the problems Americans have in communicating with each other.

Ways to make it better...

I was still involved.

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

None. The sky is the limit for what they can accomplish.

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

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2006-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I will never forget my OUDC class 9 experience for as long as I live. OUDC taught me a lot about my own heritage as an American Jew as well as a deeper understanding of the experience of blacks in the U.S. In many ways, I feel that I have a greater appreciation for this country's history and the American experience today through this program. I sincerely believe that everyone should have the chance to participate in a program like OUDC.

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

It's very hard to pick one thing that I liked most, but I guess I would say everything about the summer trip, especially travelling through all the Southern states.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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