Established in 2019, SIDEKICKS Academy is a character education program that takes the principles of academic success, mental health support, and social justice, and combines them with the teaching of the basic skills of the Korean martial art of Taekwondo. SIDEKICKS Academy was designed as an organization to further social justice and racial equity in Durham public elementary schools by bridging the historical divide between white students and students of color.
NC, like many states, lacked and continues to lack adequate numbers of Black and Brown male teachers in comparison to the number of Black and Brown male students attending Durham's public schools, so SIDEKICKS leaders committed ourselves to serving as academic tutors, behavioral intervention counselors, and Taekwondo instructors in our two pilot schools to stand in the gap for students of color, particularly boys, who may not ever have had a male role model of color to look up to.
SIDEKICKS seeks to provide a trauma-sensitive and therapeutic learning environment dedicated to the treatment of the whole student, specifically students of color, while delivering a uniquely rewarding martial arts program that includes social-emotional support, self-advocacy and supportive coaching for Durham’s rising leaders.
SIDEKICKS’ vision is to shift our students away from the “school-to-prison pipeline” and toward pipelines of success as we work to cultivate the next generation of community-centered leaders.