Project KnuckleHead is a national 501(c)3 non-profit organization operating community-based programs. Our mission is to empower and inspire vulnerable youth to reach their potential through education, music, art, and mentoring programs. Our programs address the critical social, emotional, and behavioral needs of youth. We aim to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline by investing in the redirection of youth, and equipping them with pro-social skills for self-expression. We serve youth involved in the juvenile justice system and schools in low-income communities. View our latest annual report here. 

Founder and Director

Dr. Amir Whitaker Esq. AKA Dr. KnuckleHead

Dr. Amir Whitaker started Project KnuckleHead to inspire vulnerable youth and help them reach their potential for greatness. He was introduced to the criminal justice system while visiting both his mother and father in prison during his childhood. By age 15, Amir was arrested and entered the juvenile justice system.

Problems in school eventually led to Amir being expelled from high school and placed into an alternative school. Nonetheless, Amir managed to be one of the first in his family to graduate high school and attend college. In 2014, Amir completed his fifth college degree at the University of Miami School of Law. He is currently a staff attorney with the ACLU of Southern California. Amir has also been teaching in different settings from South Central Los Angeles to South Africa for over ten years. He has taught grade levels ranging from kindergarten to college; and has held teaching certifications/clearances in Florida, California, and New Jersey. Amir's recently released autobiography has been feature on ABC News and in The New Yorker. View the full description of the book here. Amir received his doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University of Southern California and his bachelors from Rutgers University.

He can be contacted at His resume/CV can be downloaded here.


Director of Music Program and Music Therapist (Miami)

Natalie Cole, MT-BC

 After-school Program Coordinator (Los Angeles) 

Michelle Sanchez




AMI South Juvenile Justice Program

PACE Center for Girls

COPE Center (Dorothy M Wallace)

Miami Edison Senior High

Carol City Middle School

Booker T Senior High

Miami Central High

AMI North Juvenile Justice Program

Empowered Youth

One Grove Foundation


Ak-Chin Indian Community



Linda Marquez High School HPIAM

Ánimo Jackie Robinson High School

Crenshaw High School

William & Carol Ouchi High School

USC East College Prep



Hubbard Middle School

Stillman Elementary

Clinton Elementary

Emerson Elementary





The New Yorker 


Miami Herald


Daytona Times


South Florida Times


Miami Times


University of Southern California 


Daily Bruin/UCLA


University of Miami


Ak-Chin Indian Community (Page 7)







Nejla Esmeralda, President

Equal Justice Works Fellow at Legal Services of Greater Miami Inc.


Pauline Green, Vice President

Director of Community Initiatives at Miami Coalition for the Homeless


Kevin Yombor, Esq., 

Fowler White Burnett, PA


Gwen Richards, Secretary



Marie Osborne Esq., Chief Assistant Public Defender, Juvenile Division

Keon Hardemon, MBA, Esq., County Commissioner of Miami-Dade District 5

Jan Jacobowitz, University of Miami School of Law, Director of Professional Responsibility & Ethics Program, Lecturer

Brother Lyle Grandison, Co-Director of Respect for Life Educational Services

Ashley Midkiff, LCSW MSW, Therapist

Dr. Amir Whitaker Esq., Founder

Ryan Lodish (Advisory Board)


Second Annual Gala in Miami

Second Annual Gala in Los Angeles

First Annual Gala in Miami

First Annual Gala in Los Angeles


Equity Playhouse Fundraiser


5K Race at The University of Miami


University of Southern California Fundraiser


Miami/Tobacco Road Fundraiser