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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

30 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

10

Donor

Rating: 5

As a parent of an OUDC student and volunteer, I have been so impressed with the work of OUDC in bringing kids and their parents together to get past any cultural differences and work together to bring about social change. The strong friendships among the group and their commitment to changing the world gives hope that the next generation will solve some of our longstanding social problems.

10

Donor

Rating: 5

I have seen OUDC change the lives of the students who participate. They dream big, and their enthusiasm inspires their families, friends and audiences. They make us all believe that, through their sheer willpower, there will be a future free of racism and Antisemitism.

7

Donor

Rating: 5

I was not a member of this organization; my niece was. I was pleased to offer them some financial support because the kids were greast and the goials were worthy. Gerald Linda

9

Donor

Rating: 5

My daughter participated in this program 10 years ago. What she learned in OUDC informed her life's work. She worked for social justice in co-ops in college and in her career so far. She has been the executive director of a group trying to work for peace in the Middle East. The group has now merged with a major Washington lobby where she is directing the college program. The roots of her participation in this line of work go back to OUDC, what she learned and absorbed during her year with them.

9

Donor

Rating: 5

Our son had the privilege and honor to be in Class 6. His participation in OUDC was indeed "life changing" for him and the entire family. My husband and I got to see OUDC in action when we hosted my son's group in our Atlanta apt during the group's visit to the Civil Right South. We were amazed by the group's discussion of the day's events. The young people were comfortable enough with each other to be brutally honest, but respectful in their comments. They agreed to disagree. They realized that their life experience shaped their world views. They had the opportunity to envision themselves in the other person's shoes.

11

Donor

Rating: 5

Two of my children have been involved in Operation Understanding. Operation Undertanding gives participants the rare opportunity to take a serious, up close look at the issues of race and ethnic identity. They have the opportunity to meet and talk to the people directly involved in the struggle for racial equality and social justice. First hand, I have seen OUDC enriches the lives of the students that participate and the communities they live in.

11

Donor

Rating: 5

My husband and I are involved with the Program OUDC. I cannot tell you how thrilled we are. Watching the young people early in the program change become involved, educated, tolerant,mature, and obtain their "voices" is simply beyond words! Kudos to all.

6

Donor

Rating: 5

Both of our sons had the life-changing opportunity to take part in OUDC. Each learned and grew in ways they could not have imagined--in their mid-teens--which engendered in them the commitment to foster interracial, intercultural cooperation, fight intolerance, and work for equality in society, government, and personal relationships. Their participation was one of the highlights of their adolescence, helping to shape them into young adults of integrity.

11

Donor

Rating: 5

Operation Understanding provides a great experience for the participants - Jewish and African American high school juniors - who study and travel together to get a better understanding of each others culture and history - and for the larger community, because the students speak throughout the community about their experiences.

11

Donor

Rating: 5

My daughter, Candyce Phoenix, was a member of OUDC. She gained much knowledge and understanding of different cultures and as a result has been very determined to spread equality among all groups. I am very proud of her and OUDC's affect it had on her.