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Rae Baker is an assistant professor of community and action research at the University of Cincinnati. Their praxis engages oral history, public ethnography, and participatory research design to expand epistemological perspectives of people’s relationships to property, activism, and community centered research.

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Martine August is an Assistant Professor in the School of Planning at the University of Waterloo. Her research and writing focus on the political economy of housing and the pursuit of urban social justice, and explores topics related to gentrification, displacement, community organizing, public housing redevelopment, and the politics of social mix.

Dan Cohen

Dan Cohen’s research focuses on the spread of market-based education reforms in the United States focusing both on the impact of these reforms on youth and families in urban districts, but also on the market actors and instruments that profit from market based education reform regardless of educational outcomes. A short film of Cohen’s early work in Detroit by filmmaker Kate Levy can be seen here:

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Alexa Eisenberg (she/they) is a postdoctoral research fellow with Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan. Their research supports organizing, advocacy, and policy change to promote housing and health justice in Detroit.


Alex B. Hill  works to address the impacts of health disparities from chronic diseases through data analysis and community engagement strategies. His research is focused on food access, health disparities, and racial justice with a focus on the need for greater community involvement at all levels and specifically highlights the intersections of power, privilege, and race.


RJ Koscielniak is an Assistant Professor of Planning at Eastern Michigan University. His research examines  the interactions of policy, real estate, and finance that enable contemporary urbanization. He studies Detroit, MI’s massive demolition backfill program and the limits of demolition-dependent redevelopment.

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Michelle McSweeney is a data engineer in New York City and has a PhD in Linguistics. Her research focuses on how people establish intimacy and trust through digital communication. She is the author of the Pragmatics of Digital Communication (Routeledge 2018) and co-host of the podcast, Subtext. She has worked on projects around multilingualism in urban spaces, how cities are shaped by the languages of their speakers, and relationships between language and transportation.

Aaron Petcoff

Aaron Petcoff is a software engineer living in Brooklyn, NY. Aaron enjoys seeing live music, writing, and reading sci-fi, history, and poetry. He believes social, economic, and global justice are important. Aaron designed Property Praxis.

Eric Seymour

Eric Seymour is an Assistant Professor of Planning at Rutgers. His research focuses on housing and neighborhood dynamics under conditions of decline, particularly the role of urban policy in influencing the location and pace of disinvestment and investor practices for extracting profit from declining neighborhoods.

Jeffrey Wilson, Ph.D. is a graphic novel author. Originally from Michigan, his most recent book, published on Seven Stories Press, is titled The Instinct for Cooperation: A Graphic Novel Conversation with Noam Chomsky. Wilson’s graphic novels have appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly, Counterpunch, World War 3 Illustrated and The Nation. His most recent graphic novel titled We Live Here! Detroit Eviction Defense and the Battle for Housing Justice is set for Spring 2022 release on Seven Stories Press. He currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Past Members


Alec Sparks is a counter-mapper aiming for his next step, pursuing graduate studies. His research interests engage implications of urban and regional property governance strategies of policy, planning, design, and development – and the material conditions this implicates for everyday life. He investigates property relations between private and public, the political economy of redevelopment and “growth”, and the political ecology of everyday life under racialized capitalism through decolonial and critical race studies frameworks. He plays hockey, writes poetry about alienation & place and goes to punk/hip-hop shows.


Jacob Yesh-Brochstein now works for Data Driven Detroit. He completed his degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 2019.  He loves working with spatial data of all types especially when it can make a real, positive change in the world. In his spare time, he is involved in Detroit DSA, Detroit Eviction Defense, Amnesty International, and the Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy.

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Grace Moore graduated from the Urban and Regional Studies program at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. As a research assistant on Property Praxis, she did much of the data coding to launch the initial project and studied how property ownership impacts the state of communities. She currently works for the City of Hamtramck.

Joshua Akers began the Urban Praxis Workshop while working as a professor  at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. In that role, his research and writing examined the intersection of markets and policy and their material impacts on urban neighborhoods and everyday life.

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