Mordecai Cargill is a co-founder and partner of the ThirdSpace Action Lab, a grassroots research, strategy & design cooperative, dedicated to prototyping creative place-based solutions to complex socioeconomic problems. Mordecai is a community + institutional organizer, committed to Activating Space + Activating People. His personal, professional + intellectual pursuits converge in an unwavering belief in the creative potential of everyday people.
Deborah was born and raised in Hough, where her father was the first Black homeowner in the neighborhood. She is a founding board member of The BC Block Club, a group that is restoring Hough's legacy and reimagining its future, and President of St. Paul AME Zion Church Credit Union, a Black-owned financial institution founded in 1956.
Justine relocated to Cleveland from Ithaca, NY, where she began her doctoral degree at Cornell University, researching the intersection of race and food in the city, with a focus on vacant land reutilization projects on Cleveland's east side. She believes that ownership - especially land ownership - is essential to the creation of democratic societies. Justine (and her husband Jeff) have a one-year-old baby and a three-legged dog, and she loves to grow food and eat avocados.
Rebecca is a lawyer who lives and works in Cleveland. She attended law school after seeing the effects of the foreclosure crisis, and later worked at the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and as a clerk in the Northern District of Ohio. She is passionate about having a safe and dignified home for all Clevelanders, and focuses on housing and student loan law in private practice. When not lawyering, you can find her in her backyard garden, trying to nurture the perfect summer tomato.
Michael is a co-founder of Rust Belt Riders, an organization dedicated to transforming regional food systems through the creation of value-added products derived from locally squandered resources to build a circular economy that improves food security and combats climate change. When he's not making compost with the RBR crew Michael spends his time reading, fermenting foods, and taking early morning walks around the neighborhood.
Jonathan is a business developer and community organizer who is passionate about closing the ownership gap in his hometown of Cleveland. He spent three years in corporate consulting, where he saw the power of ownership -- and the danger of ownership unaccountable to the people it affects. He worked on President Obama's 2012 campaign and as a Peace Corps volunteer. You can find him catching sunsets during runs at Cleveland's Edgewater Park.