Our Story

Teacher Amy Donofrio and her students started the EVAC Movement in Jacksonville, Florida when they realized their shared experiences with violence, racism and the justice system. Out of 15 youth:

  • 6 have been arrested
  • 12 have been stopped/searched by police 3+ times
  • 14 have immediate family incarcerated long-term
  • 14 had a close loved one murdered

By sharing these experiences with each other, they found relief…and a desire to create change. They began by inviting police officers and officials to class for roundtables and in just a over one year they achieved:

  • going to the White House
  • meeting President Obama
  • making the front page of The New York Times
  • winning a national contest sponsored by Harvard


The concept of "I am Not a Gang Member" began as a result of EVAC members daily experiences of being profiled as African-American young men. They want to send a message to the world to truly SEE THEM as they are: the FUTURE.


EVAC operates without any formal funding or paid staff and began our efforts simply within a regularly scheduled class at a public high school. All staff is 100% volunteer based and all donations go directly back into efforts to support youth.

To learn more about our story, check out our TEDx Talk: www.tinyurl.com/EvacTedTalk