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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth, Civil Rights, Community & Neighborhood Development, Cultural & Ethnic Awareness, Economic Development, Intergroup & Race Relations, Race, Youth Community Service Clubs

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.

Community Stories

22 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

10

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The best experience for teens and parents we learned a lot from the program. Our daughter Janell completed the program Class 11, Can't wait for our son Judah to share the experience.

8

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a truly exceptional activity for Jewish or Black students. The year long program provides a fabulous opportunity to learn how another minority group fares in today's world. It did a great job showing the value of diversity not only to my son, but to us parents as well. This is probably the best "extracurricular" activity you have never heard of.

8

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter became a member of OUDC. I watched her grew into an educated young woman, who developed the ability to think on her own, to understand and accept racial differences and to truly appreciate diversity. I commend OUDC for its efforts in helping young people to understand and accept racial differences and be able to work together despite their ethnic and racial backgrounds. Truly this organization is serving a profound need to our city and should be supported in any way to continue their great work.

11

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a great organization with a great experience to offer youth. Helping them to build better relationships across generations and across racial, ethnic and religious lines. They deserve the interest and support because OUDC is building the leaders of tomorrow.

11

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have met and talked to or heard give presentations several participants and have been very impressed by what they have learned through the program.

11

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

OUDC is truly wonderful! Bridging gaps by bridging people is an awesome concept. Like many parents I like to support my children in all aspects of their life. My daughter has always had a thrist for knowledge about cultures and civil rights for everyone - not just one group. She often involved herself in causes and groups she felt could make a positive change. She found it in OUDC. She had the opportunity to travel the south and found her experience simply fantastic, educational and emotional! I gained so much from what she learned because the experiences didnt just stay with her - she used concepts and methods learned there to organize groups in college to learn about diversity. OUDC is necessary, educational, fun and a blessing. KEEP UP THE OUTSTANDING WORK!

10

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Two of my grandchildren have had the extraordinary experience of participating in OUDC. I had the pleasure of meeting each of their groups when they visited New York and could watch them in action. I was impressed not only with the participants but with the quality of the leadership. I know that the experience will be a positive life-long influence on their lives, the proof being that they have made and maintained friendships with some of the people they've meet through OUDC.

10

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a director of a school which sent many students to OUDC I was always impressed with the claiber of the training and the change of our students. It instills a sense of pride and encourages dialogue between Jewish American and African American teens-the future of our country. We invited OUDC to faciliate discussions with our teens and adults. Always an extremely thought provoking session.

10

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a high school guidance counselor at a private school chock full of incredible opportunities, it is high praise indeed for me to say that OUDC offers students an uparalleled experience. The chance to meet leaders of the civil rights movement is particularly special because this is a generation that will soon be lost to old age and the course of life.

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Participating in the OUDC program has been the best, enriching experience for my daughter thus far. She has grown so much while participating in the program. She has made lasting friendships. More importantly she has a new awareness of the socioeconomic and racial challenges that exist in our society. The program lets children explore their similarities and celebrate their differences. I highly recommend the OUDC program.