Irene Morgan Schools

The Pitch

Irene Morgan Schools are small, holistic high schools that serve young people who have had contact with the criminal justice system. IMS is guided in all things that they do by centering the needs of students and their families.

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Adrienne Wallace, Melanie Dukes, Malaika Hankins, Ella Every-Wortman

Adrienne Wallace, Melanie Dukes, Malaika Hankins, Ella Every-Wortman

The Entrepreneur

Adrienne Wallace
Irene Morgan Schools’ CEO and founder, Adrienne Wallace, has more than 15 years developing the skills and talents of young people who have previously been incarcerated or are 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 led school integration and development projects both in the United States and Latin America; she also developed a social justice curriculum. Adrienne is the daughter of a teacher and a therapist, resulting in her appreciation off high-quality education and mental health care. Adrienne founded Underground with Black Students for Black and Brown students who are disproportionately impacted by the system of mass incarceration.

Melanie Dukes
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. 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.

Malaika Hankins
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 meditations 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
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 a 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.


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