I am an alumni of Operation Understanding DC (OUDC) Class 17. To write a simple review of this organization would be undermining its grandness, however I will try to keep it short. OUDC directed me towards a path so few of my fellow African-American brothers refuse to take. A peculiar path that holds delicate footprints of advocates for social justice instead of the common path stampeded with individuals who are indifferent towards society's problems. This organization has made me aware and active of social issues regarding not just the Black community, but the global community as well. As I conversed with my Jewish counterparts in the program, I became aware of issues that affected them and discovered many similarities. Our conversations helped me understand that OUDC was organized for the betterment of mankind. To understand each other is necessary for world peace and compromise. I thank God for this program because it has awakened the leader within me.
I have been involved as a volunteer (photographer) with OUDC for many years, and have continue to be inspired by the energy and uplifting values they foster. Many programs speak about social change and inter-ethnic dialog, but Operation Understanding has long and consistently effectively delivered on their mission, on their promise. I trust they are able to continue to build up our young people with the meaningful and proven skills that are embedded into the program's action plans.
OUDC has significantly improved the lives of numerous young people in the Jewish and African-American community in the DC area. I have been moved by the depth of the awareness of history, culture, communication, and personal growth it has engendered in its goal of increasing understanding and collaboration.
This organization has taught me how to truly understand those around me. With their extensive education initiative they really take their mission seriously. Quality organization.
This organization not only is developing the children within the program, but also kids and adults alike outside of the program. By openly spreading equality and the complete expulsion of racism, anti-semitism and all forms of discrimination. This organization takes its time to teach all about the importance of understanding one another through religion or day to day encounters! This non-profit is deserving of the award!
My daughter is a member of Class 17, and I recently spoke with a parent from Class 1, who said that OUDC was central to her son's entire high school experience and in some ways made him the person he is today. My daughter is so excited and amazed at how open the kids are and how quickly they connected. I am thrilled with the beginning of this program, and can't wait to watch it unfold. What an opportunity for these kids, and what an opportunity to change the world! Thank you, OUDC!
My son was an OUDC participant in Class 5. Now some 10 years later, I see the impact on him and his fellow class-mates. They are aware, engaged, articulate champions of respect and inclusion, working around the world to improve the lives of people of all backgrounds. Each person touched by OUDC touches many others on a daily basis.
OUDC is the solution to our nation's societal problems. In today's world ignorance, racism and prejudice actively block our youth and incoming generations from fully understanding someone's background different than their own. The problem with this issue is that when understanding for one's culture is absent, people have difficulty getting along with and treating him/her with respect. Operation Understand D.C. brings African Americans and Jews together to help promote understanding for different cultures and help eradicate racism, antisemitism or any sort of prejudice for that matter wherever it may exist. OUDC is a phenomenal non-profit organization which is helping to coalesce our nation one youth at a time.
Through her participation in OUDC, a student who found herself a member of a desperately small minority at our suburban Virginia high school felt part of a bigger metropolitan family. OUDC supported her in so many ways and faculty at my school could see her growth in dealing with sensitive discussions in the classroom and her willingness to develop friendships across racial lines. She blossomed into a calm, well-adjusted young woman in the year with OUDC. Her praise for the OUDC mission and its successful outreach continues to be always extremely positive and sincere. Well done!
Operation Understanding isn't just a non-profit organization looking to educate students, but a unique experience that's definitely life-changing. One question I always asked myself and teachers was why does history matter? It already happened! And it wasn't until after our 3-week summer journey across the states did I really start to understand and rely on the importance of history- without it, it repeats itself! There's nothing more ignorant that we can do today than nothing. So start now and contribute, support, or just plain tell your friends about OUDC because they know where to start, and their volunteers know where to continue.