Our CEO and founder, Adrienne Wallace has more than 15 years developing the skills and talents of children and young people who have previously been incarcerated or at high risk of being swept up in the system of mass incarceration. Adrienne's a racial justice advocate, a math teacher, an experienced school leader and soon, a lawyer (Roll Tide!).
Adrienne has lead school integration and school development projects in the United States and in Latin America. She's also developed social justice curriculum (seriously, you should check out Beyonce Algebra, it's amazing and 92% of students who took it, aced a college level Algebra final). Adrienne is the daughter of a teacher and a therapist, so she values the twin inputs of high quality education and high quality mental health care.
Adrienne founded Underground with Black students, for Black and Brown students (who are disproportionately impacted by the system of mass incarceration).
As the Chief of Vision and Execution for Irene Morgan Schools, Melanie brings over 15 years of experience in building innovative programs and processes across a variety of sectors. She believes strongly in social justice and is dedicated to removing the barriers to equity in education, specifically along the lines of race and ethnicity, so all people are empowered to pursue their own path to success.
Currently, Melanie serves as the Senior Director of National Operations for Relay Graduate School of Education (Relay). In this role, she provides coaching and high quality support to operations leaders and deans across Relay’s various campuses. Prior to joining Relay, Melanie served as a school-based Director of Operations for KIPP NYC. She has also consulted with education non-profits in Brazil and Mexico.
Melanie holds a MBA in Finance & Non-Profit Management from Columbia Business School, and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech. She is working towards her M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs with a focus on Social Justice at New York University.
School Leader Fellows
Malaika Hankins is an educator, a student, and an advocate for justice. She is currently pursuing dual Master degrees in Social Work and Public Policy from the University of Minnesota where she is studying the intersection of education, juvenile justice, and racial equity. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Malaika worked as the Middle School Program Coordinator at Student U, a college-access nonprofit in Durham, NC. In this role, she was responsible for daily afterschool and summer programming for 150 students and families. She has certifications in hosting restorative justice mediations from the International Institute for Restorative Practices and is a racial equity facilitator with Embracing Equity. Malaika currently lives in Minneapolis, MN but is excited to be returning home to open a school in New Orleans as an Underground School Leader Fellow.
Ella Every-Wortman is an educator, social justice youth worker, and restorative justice facilitator. Ella teaches History with the San Francisco Unified School District and is pursuing their Masters in Teaching with the NYU Steinhardt Teacher Residency Program. Ella previously served an Associate Teacher at The IDEAL School of Manhattan, providing individualized learning support in an inclusive classroom setting. Since 2016, Ella has designed and implemented original curriculum on social justice topics for self-identified young women as a Dean and Faculty member for the Sadie Nash Leadership Project. Ella trained as a Restorative Justice Facilitator with the Baltimore Community Conferencing Center in 2016 and facilitated school based restorative circles through the New York Peace Institute. They graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in Human Rights and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. While at Columbia, they were a core organizer for Columbia Prison Divest, a successful campaign to divest the universities’ endowment from the private prison industry.
Board of Directors
William Ames, Board Chair
Born in Boston, MA, William Ames is an alumnus of Davidson College and Teach for America. After five years of teaching, he is now working full-time to pilot a digital media program at an Inglewood charter school through the MJ Project. Growing up, William benefited from a plethora of extracurricular activities, good books, and quiet places to read. In his professional work, he hopes to help students not immediately surrounded by these resources. William enjoys philosophy in all its forms and also watching professional cycling
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Analia Stratton is an alumna of University of Southern California and Teach for America. After ten years of teaching and leading elementary special education in New York City, she is now working full-time as an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Teachers of Exceptional Learners program at Relay Graduate School of Education. Growing up, Analia was lucky to have attended great public schools and became the first in her family to graduate with a four-year degree. In her professional work, she believes in loving, rigorous, and inclusive learning experiences for all, and is passionate about collaborating with other educators to create exceptional outcomes for exceptional learners. Analia finds balance through yoga, family, podcasts, and curiosity.
Additional Board Members