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 amir@projectknucklehead.org. 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

 

SCHOOLS AND PROGRAMS SERVED

FLORIDA

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

ARIZONA

Ak-Chin Indian Community

 

CALIFORNIA

Linda Marquez High School HPIAM

Ánimo Jackie Robinson High School

Crenshaw High School

William & Carol Ouchi High School

USC East College Prep

 

NEW JERSEY

Hubbard Middle School

Stillman Elementary

Clinton Elementary

Emerson Elementary

 

MEDIA APPEARANCES

Television

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z30MUXBKiik

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpFVpy5ikRA

 

The New Yorker

http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/the-long-term-costs-of-fining-juvenile-offenders 

 

Miami Herald

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/coral-gables/article9548309.html

 

Daytona Times

http://daytonatimes.com/2015/09/quality-education-for-students-the-focus-of-flagler-naacp-banquet/

 

South Florida Times

http://sfltimes.net/uncategorized/real-talk-panel-about-trayvon

 

Miami Times

http://miamitimesonline.com/news/2014/jan/30/incarcerate-or-education/

http://miamitimesonline.com/news/2014/jan/23/mediocrity-new-standard-black-students/

 

University of Southern California

http://rossier.usc.edu/knuckleheads-wanted/

http://rossier.usc.edu/amir-whitaker-me-08-edd-11-speaks-at-rossiers-masters-commencement-ceremony/ 

 

Daily Bruin/UCLA

http://dailybruin.com/2015/05/04/alumnas-spilt-arts-offers-creative-outlet-for-underserved-youth/

 

University of Miami

http://www.law.miami.edu/news/2013/march/turning-dreams-goals-law-student-helps-youths-avoid-pitfalls-delinquency-and

https://vimeo.com/120394276

 

Ak-Chin Indian Community

http://www.ak-chin.nsn.us/run/2014/12.pdf (Page 7)

 

Other

http://rockstartatted.com/peter-justice-featured-artist

 

ANNUAL REPORT

http://eepurl.com/bONUyv  

http://eepurl.com/bnAx0L

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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

 

FOUNDING BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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)

EVENTS

Second Annual Gala in Miami

https://www.facebook.com/events/1068532456575637

Second Annual Gala in Los Angeles

https://www.facebook.com/events/578219149005305

First Annual Gala in Miami

https://www.facebook.com/events/189805051356185

First Annual Gala in Los Angeles

https://www.facebook.com/events/1619182264961058

 

Equity Playhouse Fundraiser

www.facebook.com/events/832853350073702/

 

5K Race at The University of Miami

www.active.com/coral-gables-fl/running/distance-running-races/14th-annual-race-judicata-5k-run-walk-2014-5172525

 

University of Southern California Fundraiser

www.facebook.com/events/172964659560536

 

Miami/Tobacco Road Fundraiser

www.facebook.com/events/484443484959582/?ref=22