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  

My daughter's experience as an OUDC class member was truly life altering. She now teaches in a low performing urban, public school and the leadership skills, cultural perspectives, and understandings she developed during her year with OUDC are helping her to succeed in a very challenging endeavor. As a parent, I grew along with my daughter. For those students who are fortunate to be accepted into the program, OUDC provides them with a unique set of tools to make a real difference in the world.

Jamie Butler,
Parent of a former OUDC student and current Board member

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

seeing my daughter make career decisions upon graduation from college

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

find more sources of support to enable to program to reach more students as well as to become more financially secure.

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Rating: 5 stars  

As a parent of a former participant (Class 10) and a current Board Member, I cannot laud and support the mission and program of Operation Understanding enough. The exposure provided to the participants, and by virtue of that their friends and family, has been described as inspirational, momentous and an awakening. The Black and Jewish youth involved seem to find a direction that put them on a life-track of giving, sharing and positive change. What a difference involvement can make!

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

Personnally, the results were noted first-hand through my daughter's experience and positive growth and that of the friends she made at OUDC.

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

I would want to see more stable funding sources developed.

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Rating: 5 stars  

OUDC is one of the best non-profits in Washington, DC. It teaches sustainable life lessons and leadereship skills to young adults that transcend daily and normal experiences.

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

The experiences gained by my daughter who particiapated in the program nearly ten years ago.

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

Do nothing. It's good as is!

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

OUDC has successfully transformed the perspectives of not only hundreds of young people, but also the many thousands they have connected with since their program years. Though I have been a teacher, mentor and trustee for the organization, I have also benefited and grown immeasurably by my contact with the students.

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

mainstream an approach to dealing with bias that would lead to a true understanding that overcoming discrimination is methodical, hard work, and not moment in time, symbolic gestures.

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  

7 people found this review helpful

OUDC's approach enables young leaders to form meaningful relationships while learning about historical injustices. They take their knowledge and friendships with them into their current high schools and communities, as well as into their future experiences at college and in the workplace. OUDC adds value to individual lives and thereby transforms communities.

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

reach every high school student

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  

8 people found this review helpful

Operation Understanding is a very special program that has a profound impact on the students who are privileged to participate and on their families as well. Two of my daughters took part in the program and grew enormously as a result and are now following career paths inspired by their experience with OUDC. It is my privilege to serve on the Board and dedicate myself to the growth and continuation of a truly unique and powerful program.

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

interacting with an amazing group of young people who are so committed to confronting issues of racism finding ways to overcome prejudice. I find this truly inspirational.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

Operation Understanding is a great program which creates the leaders of tomorrow. Many of the students who participated in it have gone on to work on diversity issues and have made a huge difference in the world. It is definitely the best non-profit....

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

meeting and working with the students who participate in the organization's program.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

The term "life-changing experience" has been reiterated and repeated by my daughter and her fellow OUDC particpants over the past few years. The opportunities for experiece and exposure to the 'real' world, as a positive learning tool, with chances for self-discovery and growth, is the plus not often afforded to our youth. From the dark pages of historical discrimination to the opportunities for historic change, OUDC provides this springboard and more.

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

noting the change and growth of students, including my daughter, who have grown and achieved as they moved into adulthood. These participants have remarkably taken a lot of what OUDC fosters to another level.

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

expand the number of annual participants and replicate these efforts in other areas across the USA.

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

The opportunity to work with the youth and see the positive changes a program like OUDC can make in the lives of our future generation.

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

caring, nurturing and positive. All were very knowledgeable and informed about current and historical insights into race relations.

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

expand its mission and help create a less judgmental and a more peaceful world.

Ways to make it better...

I had had the opportunity, as a youngster, to have been involved in a program such as OUDC.

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

financial. The budget contraints are a constant with which OUDC must continue to navigate and still focus on the MISSION.

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

OUDC is a most wonderful way to bridge the great divide in society.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

Two of my children have been transformed by the OUDC experience. Their horizons were broadened and they came away with a better sense of self and a deeper devotion to others. They also learned a lesson not being taught well in other DC environments: you can disagree strongly with someone and still hold that person close to your heart. In addition to helping Jews and African-Americans understand each other better, the neighborhoods, economic circumstances and values these kids represent offer them all insights into others. These kids are tomorrow's leaders.

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

opening worlds of ideas and relationships for my own children and others.

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

meeting the extraordinary young people who are a part of it.

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

dedicated, devoted and determined to making a better society.

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

reach 320 kinds a year instead of 32.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-6-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I have been privileged to witness firsthand the tremendous impact OUDC has had on my son and daughter, both alums. Each came away from the year-long OUDC experience with deep friendships among African-American and Jewish students, and a shared, profound understanding of what religious and racial tolerance and understanding really mean in daily life. I was also fortunate to serve on the Board, where I interacted regularly with the leadership of the program, as well as the students. OUDC lives its values every day by encouraging African-American and Jewish student leaders to take up the challenge of being thought and change leaders.

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

the extraordinary young people who have experienced the interacial, intereligious journey of OUDC and emerged as true leaders among their peers.

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

share the OUDC experience with hundreds of young adults, helping build the next generation of tolerant, open-minded leaders.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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