This organization does amazing work and has positively affected several Black and Jewish students and their families that I personally know. Each student goes forth not only a better human being but an ambassador for understanding and empathy, and a force for justice and peace. The organization changes the world one person at a time which is the best and only way to really be effective.
My daughter had the privilege of being selected for their leadership developmental program and it has had a huge transformative impact on her life and ours. She is fired up in making an impact toward a more equitable society. As she prepares to go to college, she is focusing on course of studies that will prepare her to be active in eradicating social injustices. There is no other program available to 17-year old High School students that removes blinders and empowers them into becoming active, participating citizens, whose voices will be heard and who matter.
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 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.
When my son first told us about Operation Understanding DC, we were very skeptical about the program, we were expecting them to ask us for thousands of dollars to be in the program, after about 6 months into the program, I will say that this is one of the best things that has happened to us, the way the organisation has encouraged our children and the parents alike to communicate and engage each other, I am always looking forward to the parents meetins that we have, we always have about 20 parents from different backgrounds sharing experiences about our religions, backgrounds and I have personally learnt a lot about the Jewish community from the program. The organisers are unbelieveable nice, especially AJ. I love how they are encouraging our young to be great leaders of tommorrow. The summer journey was a good experience and it has helped my son. Dolapo. I wish them many more years and the very best.
Tracing history through a “summer journey” which allowed me to visit historical landmarks pertinent to the Civil Rights Movement and Holocaust and also speaking with activists who were involved in these acts of discrimination was jubilant. As my intellectual skills grew from gaining the knowledge of history that my textbooks lacked, articulation was becoming a strength as opposed to a weakness. Being in a diverse group that consists of different individuals who all have different backgrounds has developed my social skills. Diversity plays a key role in life because it releases you from your comfort zone, and it allows you to think from different perspectives based on race, religion, and culture. For me, the most moving place on the trip was the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed. Standing below the balcony where he was shot, I felt a suffocating sense of grief and hopelessness. I then realized that hopelessness was not what King would have wanted. The responsibility he felt for the future was a responsibility each of us now feel. In “A Letter from a Birmingham,” King say, “I am here because injustice is here.” OUDC has taught me not just to address injustice when I am confronted with it, but also to seek it out.
I have seen first-hand the great work that this organization has done with the youth of D.C. It is truly a positive influence in the community.
One of my best friends has been involved in the OUDC for years now. She has put incredible time and effort into her involvement with the organization which in turn has been integral in shaping who she is today and doubt who she will be tomorrow. As a result she consistently amazes me with the care and involvement she puts forth in bettering her community, not just in Washington D.C. but in every place she ventures. The OUDC has instilled in her qualities that i greatly admire and made her not just a friend but a role model to me as well.
As a fellow Washingtonian, I believe OUDC is a perfect example of the type of programs that can really make a difference today. Unfortunately, I was never able to become active in the program; however, I truly believe our society today needs to implement the type of understanding and tolerance advocated in OUDC. It is an amazing program, and the District is fortunate enough to have it!
I was never fortunate to be a participant in OUDC but i had friends in high school who were part of the program. It is such an important organization to bridge African American and Jewish youth in our DC community. My friends made invaluable friendship and learned an incredible amount about their peers' cultural backgrounds, which in so many ways were similar to theirs. The students shared holidays, milestones and generally bonded as high school friends in an educational, challenging and fun setting. The summer trip that the group took to important Jewish and African American sites in the South was an opportunity that every student should have. I wish I had been able to see the places and meet the people that they did.