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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Operation Understanding DC

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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 550 students and their families have directly participated in OUDC’s award-winning program, and, through their outreach efforts, over 60,000 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

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Stacy K.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I work at a school that regularly sends students to the OUDC program. Not only does our school benefit from the rich relationships established from OUDC through its staff and network, but also by having our own students come back to teach their fellow students and teachers about what they have learned. Recently, one of our african-american male OUDC students invited his jewish male OUDC colleague to speak at our Martin Luther King Memorial Chapel. It was a powerful and authentic realization of the mission of OUDC.

Previous Stories


Rating: 4

I am a diversity director at a MD independent school. We have had various students from our school go through the OUDC program with wonderful results. I know OUDC graduates to be fantastic facilitators and end up educating their own school communities as a result of their experience. I find OUDC to be well-run and organized in its selection process and implementation of the program.