Ivory Taylor, Abbie Hanson, Jessica Szuminski, Ellie Benson, and Emma Diers have joined the team at Housing Justice Center.

Ivory Taylor is the Associate Director of Housing Justice Center. Since 2017, she has worked to advance and ensure the rights of renters in Minnesota by engaging in both grassroots organizing and local and state level policy and systems change advocacy. She is also deeply committed to building local organizing infrastructure and providing ongoing support to new organizers. Driven by her personal experiences with housing instability, she is determined to see a shift in the dominant narratives and systems that deny housing access and justice for so many in Minnesota and beyond.

Abbie is a Housing Justice Litigator at HJC. She attended the University of Minnesota Law School and graduated magna cum laude in 2021. During law school, Abbie worked at Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid and Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, supporting their family law, public benefits, and elder law units. After law school, she spent a year as a law clerk for the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Abbie is excited to contribute to HJC’s work advocating for safe, stable, and affordable places to call home in communities across Minnesota.

Jessica is also a Housing Justice Litigator at HJC. She is eager to support the expansion of affordable housing and the rights of tenants by eliminating needless barriers. Prior to her work with HJC, Jessica spent a year as a law clerk in Hennepin County Juvenile Court after graduating from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2021. Jessica brings her experience working alongside clients from low-income and other marginalized backgrounds as well as her passion for developing creative solutions through thoughtful collaboration.

Ellie Benson is HJC’s Office Manager & Communications Associate. In her previous tenant organizing work, Ellie had the opportunity to build renter power to improve housing conditions and move rent stabilization forward in Minneapolis. She loves supporting HJC behind-the-scenes to ensure that our legal and community teams have the greatest impact. Ellie graduated from Macalester College and is currently pursuing her Masters in Advocacy and Political Leadership at Metro State.

Emma is HJC’s VISTA tenant organizer. She graduated from Carleton College in 2021 with a degree in Political Science. Before HJC, Emma worked as a paraprofessional teacher with the Migrant Education Program in East Central Illinois and as an English language assistant at a high school in Cournon d’Auvergne, France. She is excited to learn about organizing and tenant law while supporting members of her new community! In her free time Emma enjoys hiking, reading, and knitting.

Check out all Housing Justice Center staff bios here