Rae Baker is a community-based researcher and assistant professor whose work is dedicated to building anti-oppressive relationships and communities. Their areas of research include community land use and food systems, racism and racial capitalism in settler colonial contexts, transformative and restorative justice, feminist and queer studies, trauma informed approaches to research, and housing politics and activism.
Finding outlets for action is an important part of their practice, from labor organizing and tenant activism, to building partnerships with the movement against police brutality. They were a member of the Tricycle Collective (2015-2019), a Detroit-based foreclosure support group serving households at risk of property tax foreclosure, and later served as a director in one of Detroit’s housing legal aid non-profits throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With fellow tenants, they co-founded Detroit Renter City (2019-2021), a city-wide tenant action group working to stop evictions and the displacement of Black Detroiters.
Baker is currently co-editing an Urban Studies Foundation-funded volume about tenant activism and perspectives emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic. They are a member of the Decolonizing Cities Collective, Urban Praxis Workshop, a Fulbright alum, and a first-generation high school and university graduate. They are an assistant professor in the Education and Community Action Research program at the University of Cincinnati, and a past instructor with the Prison Mindfulness Institute. In pursuit of ongoing learning, they recently completed a post-graduate certificate in trauma informed care from the School of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier