Hannah Wagner

Board Member, Motor City Freedom Riders
Detroit, Michigan

HIA Program:

United-states United States 2017


I received my undergraduate degree in Political Science and Urban & Regional Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, where my focus was urban policy and its real-life outcomes affecting opportunity, equity, and political power. I have been involved with a number of organizations in and around the Detroit area focusing on issues of housing justice and transit advocacy. I worked in community engagement at Transportation Riders United, where I fostered grassroots support for our 2016 Regional Transit millage. I remain a member of the transit advocacy nonprofit, and I also serve on the Board of Directors for Motor City Freedom Riders - an organization of bus riders and their allies pushing to build collective power and amplify the voices of transit users. We believe that "the right to economic and political participation is contingent on the right to reliable transportation." As an undergraduate research assistant, I worked alongside Professor Bernadette Atuahene (Chicago-Kent School of Law, American Bar Foundation Research Professor) on her study of unconstitutional property tax foreclosure in the city of Detroit. As a part of this research I helped identify foreclosure-impacted families for the Coalition to End Unconstitutional Tax Foreclosure, and also assisted with the Foreclosure Prevention Project at United Community Housing Coalition. Shortly after, I had the opportunity to assist with legal research at Michigan Legal Services and help with client intake at the organization's free legal aid clinic within Landlord-Tenant Court. I'm currently the Bailey-Boushay House - Humanity in Action Fellow in Seattle completing research on homelessness and healthcare access. This fall I will begin classes at Wayne State University Law School in Detroit, where I hope to pursue a career in public interest and human rights law.