Leadership

The Motor City Freedom Riders are governed by a Board of Directors elected by our membership. (See Join Us! page for membership details.) Much of our work is done on a volunteer basis, but for the past year, 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

Dennis Black

Regina DuBose

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Regina DuBose is a native of Detroit’s West Side, where she serves as a deacon of Unity Baptist Church. Ms. DuBose is the longtime owner/president of Alexis Novelty & Gift Company, the first black-owned novelty business in Detroit. She 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.

Idrees Mutahr

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Idrees Mutahr was born to Yemeni immigrant parents in Northern Michigan, where he spent the first several years of his childhood. He then moved to Dearborn where he has been a resident since. Idrees is a graphic designer, artist, and activist who has developed an interest in transportation and how it connects to many of the social and environmental issues he is passionate about. He is a cyclist and bus rider, and you will often find him advocating for improved transit in Dearborn and across the region, especially along Michigan Avenue. 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

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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. Zerafa believes that the right to move about is a fundamental human liberty.

Joel Batterman, Coordinator

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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

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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.

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