Operation Understanding DC

Rating: 4.98 stars   244 reviews


3000 Connecticut Avenue, NW Ste 335 Washington DC 20008 USA


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.


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


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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Reviews for Operation Understanding DC

Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

My daughter participated in OUDC. She learned a great deal about our history, in particular the Civil Rights Movement, and developed a better understanding of how folks from different backgrounds can and should learn to work together while respecting our differences. She also learned how to facilitate discussions over thorny and sometimes contentious issues - a skill that will serve her well in all sorts of ways in the years to come. I am sure that years from now, she will look back on her experience with OUDC as a vital part of how she learned to move forward in the world and make a positive difference.

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

not only how it taught my daughter about living together in a diverse society but it taught her leadership skills to make that happen.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

Operation Understanding of the District of Columbia (a/k/a OUDC) is an amazing program that brings together African-American and Jewish high school students for a year of inter-cultural education, travel, and discovery. Roughly 30 students from the D.C. metropolitan area learn together about Jewish and African-American culture, history, and religious traditions, and explore issues of identity, discrimination, and stereotypes, during a year of programs, lectures, and retreats. The students have just returned from a three-week summer journey in NYC and throughout the deep South, where they visited churches, synagogues, community centers, museums, and memorials, and met with local civic and religious leaders, as well as participants in and heroes of the civil rights movement. OUDC is a transformational experience for these students, who become inspired to join our nation's efforts to battle discrimination and foster greater respect and understanding in our communities.

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

my own child's level of maturity and depth of understanding of her own cultural identity and history, and her appreciation of African-American history and culture.

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

get the word out about this fantastic program to more D.C. students - right now, most participants seem to be recruited through word-of-mouth.

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

hearing the enthusiasm in my daughter's voice when she relates the stories of leaders and witnesses in this nation's struggle to achieve equality and civil rights for all citizens.

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

phenomenal - the four group leaders are knowledgable, personable, patient, energetic, and highly dedicated.

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

offer this wonderful opportunity to additional students in D.C., and perhaps expand to other geographical areas.

Ways to make it better...

I could have attended some of the amazing lectures and programs my child has experienced!

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

raising sufficient funds to provide this fantastic experience at no cost to the fortunate participants.

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

the staff and student participants in this program inspire hope and confidence that the lessons of our past will be remembered as we work for a better future.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


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