Aurelio Dorris

Urban Ashes

Director of Workforce Development



Born and raised in Detroit, Aurelio ultimately grew up with in the Michigan State Prisons.  After 24 consecutive years of confinement, he was released and hit the ground running. Prior to his release, he obtained a Paralegal/Legal Assistant Diploma from BlackStone Career Institute, Business Education Technology Training and Certificate, Building Maintenance Diploma, Doctor of Metaphysics Diploma, and a multitude of mediation and cognitive restructuring certificates.

He spent his childhood in a common inner-city household plagued by generations of brokenness, and a neighborhood infested with drugs, violence and neglect. With expectation of failure by mainstream society, Aurelio was taken hostage by street life at age 17. This led to a series of poor decisions and ultimately a 27-year prison sentence. During this prison stay, he found a common denominator amongst the thousands of prisoners he would encounter; a reoccurring theme of abuse, and for those returning, it was that of continued ostracism.

Upon his release, after being denied housing over forty times, adequate employment over a hundred times, and many other barriers to successful reintegration to society, he found a welcoming mat by a small company named Urban Ashes. As a Company who sees the value in repurposing everything and everyone no longer desired by society, they believe that being Socially Green was more beneficial and nobler for our people than recycling cans and plastic.  Now along with maintaining a 4.0 as a fulltime student at Wayne County Community College, an Activist for Returning Citizens, a spokesperson for organizations committed to stopping the playground to prison pipeline,  Aurelio leads the Workforce Development department within Urban Ashes.

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