Project KnuckleHead has been offering music programming for youth in the juvenile justice system since 2013. Self-expression through the arts has the potential to reduce idle time and boredom that causes youth to get in trouble. It also builds patience, confidence, creativity, and other qualities that contribute to a productive life.

Nearly 70% of youth say our lessons are the first music or art instruction they have ever received. The average youth rating for the experience is 9.3 out of 10. Youth display higher self-confidence, academic achievement, and a more positive attitude.

Over the years, we have provided our students with workshops on 7+ musical instruments, beat making, fashion, creative writing and poetry, visual and street art, dance, film, photography, culinary arts, and other forms of creative expression. Our students perform live at their graduation and proudly showcase their skills in their communities.

Art Program and Field Trips
Music Program




B.E.A.T. Buddz is a program connecting youth across the country through multiple forms self-expression. The literacy-based social emotional learning curriculum is delivered through customized tablet devices with video modules, apps, and a digital library. The program provides students with the opportunity to create and exchange music, poetry, and creative writing projects with students in Florida, California, New Jersey, Oregon, and South Africa.

Over the course of a self-paced 4-16 week period BEATBuddz utilizes a cognitive-behavioral framework (B.E.A.T. = Behavior, Emotions, Attitude, Thoughts) and engages students through hip hop, jazz, classical, audio recording/engineering and more. Through the tablet devices, video modules, and BEATBook journals, students create a “My B.E.A.T. Mixtape” portfolio of writings, original music compositions, and recordings. Each tablet device is preloaded with 20+ music projects created by students across the country allowing students can exchange their creations in a penpal-like manner.



A Black Music and Cultural Kinship Project

We are building a global movement and educational project to highlight the commonalities, contributions, and history of Black music and dance throughout the African diaspora. Our cultural collaborative will engage creatives around the world to strengthen ties among distant relatives, tell stories, and provide space and support for community healing through the arts. Learn more in our VIDEO, and explore the Exodus Multimedia Mixtape below.


Project KnuckleHead Quarters is an innovative program for at-risk teens. It began as the first after-school program at a Los Angeles high school in 2013. The students have created their school's first newspaper, and hosted charitable fundraisers and events. The program provides tutoring, mentoring, video games and other recreation, guest speakers, music and visual arts instruction, and other activities that target educational empowerment and motivation. In 2017, we are launching a pilot intervention program with Bell High School targeting different academic, behavioral, and social emotional outcomes. Click here for a free copy of the book published by our Los Angeles students. It is a compilation of their art, poetry, and short stories! 

After School Program



Project KnuckleHead created the DIG Youth Summit to motivate and inspire students at risk of dropping out of school. More than 7,000 students drop out of high school every day nationally. In the schools we serve, less than half of students graduate and receive their diploma.

More than a thousand students from 15+ high schools across the country have experienced our DIG (Dreams Into Goals) Youth Summit. In post surveys, 98% of students indicate that they are more motivated to stay in school because of DIG. More than 70% of students visited a college campus for the first time. More than 90% of students also rated DIG a 9 or better out of 10 (with more than 50% of students giving DIG a perfect score of 10). For more details on the impact of the summit, please download the report here.

                                                                                Funding provide by:

                   University of Miami                                          University of Southern California                                 Arizona State University

UM DIG 2016
USC and LA DIG Summits
Arizona State DIG Youth Summit


America is #1 when it comes to incarcerating children. We are embarking on a national campaign to liberate youth through four initiatives: Know Your Rights, Self-Expression, Education, and Advocacy. Support the movement and receive Project KnuckleHead shirts, gala tickets, book bags and more at

If you are a an organization, program, or school interested in partnering with us for this initiative, please contact us at We are offering a limited amount of free workshops, Know Your Rights sessions, and book readings.

Project KnuckleHead  is on its way to South Africa! David, our staff in Johannesburg, will facilitate weekly music and art sessions where local students will collaborate with our American students. Poetry, creative writing, and hip-hop will connect our youth through cultural exchanges, while empowering them with a positive outlet and social-emotional skills.