The Motor City Freedom Riders is governed by a Board of Directors elected by our membership. Most of our work is done on a volunteer basis, but since 2016, we have been fortunate to have a staff organizer as well. We look forward to meeting you!

Motor City Freedom Riders Board of Directors

Martin Baum

Marty Baum is a practicing lawyer who has lived in Detroit since 1967. He is a member of Detroit Jews for Justice, one of our organizational partners and allies in the fight for transit justice, which lends support to grassroots campaigns around Detroit working towards equality and human rights for all. Marty rides the Woodward and Hamilton routes and is passionate about centering transit in Detroit’s economic recovery.

Dennis Black

Dennis Black is a community organizer and social justice advocate born and raised in Detroit. He is a lifelong bus rider who joined the Motor City Freedom Riders during the RTA ballot campaign in 2016. He has worked at Detroit City Council as a policy analyst and in 2016 ran for the District 6 seat in the Michigan House of Representatives.

 Regina DuBose


Regina DuBose is a native of Detroit’s West Side, where she serves as a deacon of Unity Baptist Church. She is the longtime owner/president of Alexis Novelty & Gift Company, the first black-owned novelty business in Detroit. Regina began riding the bus in 2008, after taking her car in for repairs, and was struck by its relative affordability and convenience. “An effectively run public transportation system,” she states, “has the power to become a remarkable instrument for human growth and development.”

Chris LeFlore

Chris grew up on Detroit’s East Side and now resides in Bloomfield Township. As a young person in the metro region, he is passionate about the need for expanded transit, among other issues. He wrote his undergraduate thesis on public transit policy in Detroit and has worked as a policy and legislative aide for the Detroit City Council and US Representative John Conyers, Jr.

Idrees Mutahr


Idrees Mutahr was born to Yemeni immigrant parents in Northern Michigan. He moved to Dearborn as a child, where he has lived ever since. Idrees is a designer, artist, and activist focused on how transportation connects to urban livability, social equality, and sustainability. He is a cyclist and bus rider, and his favorite, most-used route is the Crosstown along Warren avenue, which gets him from Dearborn to various destinations in Detroit around the clock.

Br. Thomas Zerafa


Tom Zerafa grew up the son of Maltese immigrants in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood. A member of the Franciscan Order, he was for many years a teacher and music director with the Archdiocese of Detroit. Zerafa is a longtime resident of Oak Park, and has served on the board of the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights and the Affirmations Faith Task Force. He is also active with the Michigan Sierra Club. Brother Tom believes that the right to move is a fundamental human liberty.

Joel Batterman, Coordinator


Joel Batterman was raised in Ann Arbor and attended college in Portland, Oregon, where he was impressed by the public transit system. He decided he could be more useful back in metro Detroit, where he has worked to organize for transit for over five years. A member of First Unitarian Universalist Church of Detroit, Joel believes transit organizing can build momentum for a more just and prosperous region. Joel is a doctoral student in urban and regional planning at the University of Michigan and an Admiral of the Line in the Cherry River Navy of Richwood, West Virginia.

Mason Herson-Hord, Organizer

Mason Herson-Hord is a native of Canby, Oregon and now resides on the West Side of Detroit. He joined the Freedom Riders as its staff Organizer in 2016 after experience organizing for progressive change on university campuses and serving as a regional lead for the historic 2014 People’s Climate March in New York City. He is passionate about public transit organizing as a means to environmental and social justice.

Interested in running for the Board? All members are eligible! Candidacy statements should include 3-5 sentences introducing yourself, your interest in transit justice, and your experience, and may be sent to motorcityfreedomriders@gmail.com.

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