SAT. SEPT 3, 3PM | “A Likely Alliance” with Operation Understanding DC’s Program Director Avi Edelma
Avi Edelman is the program director of Operation Understanding DC(OUDC), an interfaith, cross-cultural nonprofit that brings together Black and Jewish high school teens from the DC metropolitan area for a year of dialogue, learning, and leadership development. Operation UnderstandingDC students meet biweekly to explore heritage and history, journey to NewYork and the U.S. South on a month-long civil rights pilgrimage, and receive training to give speeches and lead prejudice-reduction workshops in their communities. Avi has over a decade of experience as an educator and facilitator, working with a diverse array of youth in experiential learning settings ranging from remote overnight camps to urban college campuses. He is also a film editor and has collaborated with Brooklyn-based director Matthew Bonifacio on several award-winning feature and short films.
Operation Understanding DC‘s mission is to build a generation of African American and Jewish community leaders who promote respect, understanding and cooperation while working to eradicate racism, anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination.
How we each see the world and how the world sees us is a crucial concept to understand when any of us engage with others and the world itself. This understanding of perspective and being perceived is at the core of us making sense of our own actions and the actions of others.
The misunderstandings and understandings within the world of "Satchmo at the Waldorf" were discussed by Operation Understanding DC Executive Director Avi Edelman and OUDC student participants Nnenna Nwaezeapu, Marina Schechter, and Maxwell Leathers. The group also discussed the ways in which small actions, small gestures, small connections can create massive transformational responses.
The group also debated the role and responsibility of artist, the efficacy of Armstrong as a bridge builder, and the historical and modern relationship between Jews and Blacks.
photo (l-r): Ari Roth, Artistic Director Mosaic Theater Company of DC, Avi Edelman, Executive Director Operation Understanding DC and OUDC student participants Maxwell Leathers, Marina Schechter, and Nnenna Nwaezeapu