Rae Baker

Rae Baker

Asst Professor

Teachers College


CECH Educational Studies - 0002

Professional Summary

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 tenant 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. They also contributed to a multi-year community safety survey initiated by the Green light Black Futures coalition in Detroit that critically assessed the city's public-private-community surveillance program, and contributed to the analysis and authorship of the report "We Want Safety, Not Surveillance: What Safety Means and What Residents Want" (2022). Their current research projects include critical examination of Shot Spotter technology, organizing as a research method, and ongoign tenant and housing research.

Dr. 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 doctoral 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 practice from the School of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University (Ontario, Canada). They have a PhD in critical geography from York University (Toronto, Canada), and an MA in labor studies from McMaster University (Hamilton, Canada).

Dr. Baker is available to supervise graduate students and to join research collaborations.