There is a historical marker in Durham noting a segregation protest at an ice cream parlor on the site in 1957. The protest led to a court case testing dual racial facilities. On this site now is the Global Scholars Academy, a K-8 charter school serving 100 percent students of color.
The vision of Jim Johnson, a professor at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, and Dr. Kenneth Ray Hammond, the pastor of Union Baptist Church, the Global Scholars Academy began in 2009 as an independent school before converting to a charter school in 2011. The church built this beautiful, 21st century learning environment complete with spaces for flexible use just across the street under the shadow of its steeple.
According to the website, the school’s vision is to build bridges to the economic mainstream for vulnerable students by offering a “high touch” educational experience that identifies their needs and attributes, broadens and deepens their learning, diversifies their personal networks, and expands their access to life-changing domestic and global experiences.
But that’s not what is remarkable about this school.