Operation Understanding’s mission is to develop a group of young African American and Jewish leaders knowledgeable about each other’s histories and cultures to effectively lead the communities of Philadelphia and beyond to a greater understanding of diversity and acceptance.

The catalytic experience is the Summer Study Journey…where the work really happens. A fast-paced schedule keeps the students on their toes as they travel throughout the east and southern United States to explore the shared history and unique cultures of the Jewish and African-American people. This ‘two-community model’ serves as a jumping off point for participants to understand a broader picture of diversity, history and leadership in this country and where they fit into the ‘big picture’. During this time, intensive nightly meetings and facilitator led activities help participants process their reactions to discoveries on the road, their relationship to history and each other. They confront head-on ideas and assumptions about race, ethnicity, privilege and so much more.

Participants realize this mission during their Senior Year of Service. Early on participants commit to engage communities in discussions of diversity throughout the greater Philadelphia area to fulfill the OU mission of diversity education. Senior year is when the OU Ambassadors truly grow into their roles as models of effective cross-cultural engagement reaching over 2000 community members each year with a message of a greater understanding and respect for diversity.

You can support this work too. Give to Operation Understanding $36, $50, $100 or more.  Every dollar helps create a more just future.  http://operationunderstanding.org/donate

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