Steal Estate is an audio-visual web experience where the user delves deep into the question: “who is stealing our homes”? Follow the cases of four courageous residents as they fight to save their homes and communities by getting to the bottom of the intricate web of competing corporate interests, predatory housing policies and practices that enabled their theft through audio testimonies, photos, illustrations, and additional evidence.

Steal Estate is a part of the Rise-Home Stories project, a groundbreaking collaboration that aims to reimagine the past, present, and future of our communities by transforming the stories we tell about them. In 2018, our group of multimedia storytellers and housing, land, and racial justice advocates came together and began a unique co-creative process. We’ve created a suite of five multimedia narrative projects, including Steal Estate, that speak to the power of collective action in the face of increasingly toxic narratives of inevitability while planting a long-term vision for a just future.

"Isabel Alegria joined Public Advocates as Director of Communication in 2015. She has a long career as a broadcast journalist, and more recently as a communications manager.

Before coming to Public Advocates, Isabel was Communications Manager of the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Immigration Initiative. Previous to her work with the ACLU, Isabel served as Communications Director at the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC), a position she held at from 2006-2013. For more than twenty years, Isabel pursued a career in Broadcast Journalism. She was a staff Reporter for National Public Radio based in San Francisco from 1990 to 1995.

Before moving to San Francisco, she worked for NPR at the national office in Washington as Editor of Latin File, a daily Hispanic affairs newsmagazine. Isabel was co-founder of the Latin American News Service, a syndicated program of news on Latin America distributed to more than 100 stations in the mid-1980s out of radio station KXCR in El Paso, Texas. Her broadcast career began with NPR in San Diego and the Pacifica Foundation station KPFA in Berkeley."

Public Advocates

Heather is a communications strategist who helps social justice organizations amplify their voices and get their messages out to their target audiences. She joined the Steal Estate team in 2021 and is also part of the Rise-Home team that created the bilingual children's book Alejandria Fights Back! La Lucha de Alejandria. She began her career as a tenant organizer in the Bronx and has a longstanding interest in housing justice and all of its intersecting issues, having most recently served as the Communications Director at PowerSwitch Action. She has also worked in the news industry and for organized labor. Originally from Denver, CO, Heather currently lives in Oakland, CA with her 5-year-old daughter.


Maurice is a corporate campaigner, organizer and economic and racial justice leader. Maurice is the co-founder and former Co-Executive Director of The Action Center on Race and the Economy. Throughout his career, Maurice has worked with community organizations, labor unions and racial justice activists on a variety of social justice issues. Maurice has a keen interest in economic extraction from communities of color and the abolition of the carceral state. Maurice has a B.A. in Sociology from Swarthmore College and has a M.A. in Economics from University of Detroit Mercy.

Originally from Newark, NJ, Maurice now lives in Detroit, MI with his wife Shandra and their adorable child Charlie.


Francisco Dueñas is the Executive Director for Housing Now!, a California statewide housing justice advocacy coalition, since Jan. 2020. He was previously the Housing Justice Campaigns Director for the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), a position which had him serving as the lead coordinator of Housing Now! since May of 2018. Prior to joining ACCE, Francisco was the Director of Diversity and Inclusion for Lambda Legal, a national LGBT Impact litigation organization, where he worked for 14 years. He has also served on the Los Angeles City Human Relations Commission. He is from South Gate, California.

Housing Now!

Imani Mixon was born and raised at the magnetic center of the world’s cultural compass — Detroit, Michigan. She is a long-form storyteller and producer who is inspired by everyday griots who bear witness to their surroundings and report it back out. Equal parts urgent and essential, her multimedia work centers the experiences of Black women and independent artists.

Narrative Producer

Mateo Rebecchi is a former organizer with MHAction.


Christina Rosales is the Housing and Land Justice Director at PowerSwitch Action, a national network of grassroots groups working toward economic and racial justice. She helps affiliates build and grow housing and land justice campaigns and strategies that advance housing as a human right and promote public land for public good. She previously worked for Texas Housers, a statewide housing advocacy group that fights for fair housing, tenant rights, and justice in disaster recovery programs and is on the board of the Austin Tenants Council. She is co-creator of the video game Dot’s Home that reflects much of her work with community leaders navigating a rigged choice set in their search for home and opportunity.

Born in the Rio Grande Valley and raised in Laredo, Christina speaks the distinct Tex-Mex dialect of Spanglish. Based in Austin, TX, she’s enjoying watching her young son grow and become his own person. In her spare time, she curls up with a good book and her dog or watches baseball with her husband. Christina is also sewing her way to a handmade wardrobe. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a master’s in social work from the University of Chicago.

PowerSwitch Action

Patti Rose is a Core Team Leader with Manufactured Housing Action , a nationwide movement of MH owners who work to protect affordable housing and economic security, as well as a Zone VP and a board member of Golden State Manufactured-Home Owners League; a California state organization that champions property rights of MH owners. Patti's zone includes 13 counties along the coast of Northern California where I represent 2300 residents in over 59,000 manufactured homes. Patti is also currently on the steering committee of the North Coast Peoples Alliance, a non-partisan group that advocates for economic, environmental, and social justice, with a particular focus on local progressive electoral issues.


Anya Svanoe has been in movement building and organizing for 11 years. She cut her teeth as an organizer in Minnesota working with SEIU on the Fight for a Fair Economy campaign and various other electoral campaigns from marriage equality to electoral reform to getting money out of politics. In 2014 Anya moved to Oakland, California where she began working with the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) as Lead Organizer for their Oakland office. During her time as Lead, Anya worked on increasing Oakland's minimum wage, organizing retail workers to pass the strongest Fair Workweek policy in the nation in Emeryville and organizing tenants and home defenders to pass several housing justice initiatives to fight displacement and gentrification - including passing Measure JJ and the Renter Protection Act in Oakland. In 2017, Anya transitioned onto ACCE's statewide staff where she started a communications department for the organization that has led ACCE’s communication strategy to on numerous local and statewide housing justice campaigns - including the campaign to repeal Costa Hawkins through Proposition 10, passing a statewide rent cap and just cause law via AB 1482, and winning full rent forgiveness and multiple eviction moratorium extensions during the pandemic. Anya believes strongly in the power of narrative strategy to build power for our values and to win campaigns.


Brasilian-American filmmaker Luisa Dantas works at the intersection of storytelling, social justice, and cities. She produced and directed the multi-platform documentary "Land of Opportunity," which chronicles the reconstruction of New Orleans through the eyes of those on the front lines. The project includes a feature film and groundbreaking interactive web platform produced in conjunction with partners in six cities. Luisa also co-produced the documentary "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price." Her first fiction film, "Bolo," was produced in Brazil. She has written for the animated Nickelodeon Television series "Go, Diego, Go!" Her work has received funding from Chicken and Egg Pictures, Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, Disney/ABC, and NHFA. She was awarded a Rockwood Leadership Institute/JustFilms fellowship for 2017-18.

Supervising Producer

Anna Lee serves as the co-director of Working Films, a leading organization in using documentary film and other media to advance social justice and environmental protection. In her 16 year tenure she has developed and coordinated impact campaigns for high profile documentaries, consulted with hundreds of filmmakers, and trained organizers and nonprofit leaders across the US, increasing their capacity to use film as a tool to move the dial on critical issues. Anna leads the operations and financial management of Working Films and while also managing special projects, including leading Working Films participation on the design and resource team of the Rise Home Stories Project. Anna brings experience as an educator to Working Films, using her background in curriculum design to enhance Working Films' training for filmmakers and nonprofits.

Senior Impact Producer

PAIGE WOOD is an award-winning filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, and creative consultant. Born in Detroit, Paige has produced and/or co-written a number of critically-acclaimed documentary and narrative films since the start of her freelance career in 2018. Currently, Paige serves as the Supervising Producer for the Rise-Home Stories Project, which features over five narrative-shifting multimedia projects supported by The Ford Foundation, in addition to serving as an adjunct instructor at Wayne State University. Paige is a 2020 Kresge Artist Fellow, an alumni of Firelight Media's 2018-2019 Impact Producer Cohort, as well as a 2019 Sundance Institute | Knight Foundation Program fellow.

Supervising Producer

Julia Steele Allen is an award-winning performer, writer, and longtime community organizer and activist from NYC. She co-produced and was the Impact Producer for DECADE OF FIRE, an award-winning documentary film about the burning of the Bronx in the 1970’s, partnering the film with over 50 grassroots housing, racial and economic justice organizations across the U.S. She also developed, produced and performed “Mariposa & the Saint: From Solitary Confinement, A Play Through Letters” using the play as an organizing tool across 10 states, performing for judges, wardens, state legislators and thousands of others as part of the growing movement to end solitary confinement in this country. She continues to work at the intersection of art and organizing as an Impact Strategist/Impact Producer for documentary projects.

Julia Steele

Kadi Diallo is a filmmaker born and raised in Harlem. She co directed the short documentary, Sanctuary, a film about about organizers creating safe spaces for queer folks in NY and LA. Her work has been exhibited at Case Gallery, Saratoga Arts Gallery, and Shift. Kadi was a Fellow at the MDOCS Storytellers Institute in 2020 and is currently producing and directing a video series with the organization Color of Change.

Associate Producer

Mo Banks is a digital communications specialist who has been working for a variety of non-profits in the progressive movement space for the past 5 years. Mo believes a robust digital strategy is a key factor in leveraging progressive wins, increasing accessibility in our movement spaces, and transforming narratives in service of cultural shifts. They currently live in Arkansas with their wife and 4 kids, where they serve as the co-founder of Reconcile Arkansas, which exists to support trans youth in Arkansas. They are a meme connoisseur, a Gemini with no behavior, and they have never met a sandwich they didn't love.

Digital Communication Specialist

Kelsey Van Ert is a St. Paul & Minneapolis grown/Brooklyn based artist, arts educator, and producer who has worked with Little Island, The Clemmons Family Farm, Urban Arts Partnership, Voice Unbroken, DreamYard Project, and The Harlem Children’s Zone. She is proud to say that her artistic work, largely inspired by her African American & Ojibwe experience, has been funded and presented by some pretty cool places! Kelsey is a proud adoptive pet mother of a street cat from Crown Heights BK, adoptive grandmother to that cat’s surprise kitten, and a yellow betta fish from the 99cent store.

Kelsey Van
Impact Producer


A Rise-Home Stories Project

  • Original Concept by
  • Isabel Alegria
  • Heather Appel
  • Maurice BP-Weeks
  • Francisco Dueñas
  • Mateo Rebecchi
  • Christina Rosales
  • Patti Rose
  • Anya Svanoe
  • Participants
  • Vanessa Bulnes
  • Ronald Henry
  • Oswaldo Hernandez
  • Holly Hook
  • Producers
  • Heather Appel
  • Francisco Dueñas
  • Christina Rosales
  • Anya Svanoe
  • Kelsey Van Ert
  • Narrative Producer
  • Luisa Dantas
  • Imani Mixon
  • Paige Wood
  • Lead Researcher
  • Henry Gomory
  • Audio Editor
  • Luisa Dantas
  • Sound Designer and Mixing
  • Aidan Dykes
  • Website Developer
  • Orange Static
  • Original Art by
  • Thomas Cabus
  • Logo by
  • Mensen
  • Creative Director
  • Thomas Cabus
  • Artistic Advisor
  • Mensen.
  • Photos Provided by
  • Vanessa Bulnes
  • Ronald Henry
  • Oswaldo Hernandez
  • Holly Hook


  • Executive Producer
  • Supervising Producer
  • Senior Impact Producer
  • Impact Producer
  • Associate Producer
  • Digital Communications Manager
  • Luisa Dantas
  • Paige Wood
  • Anna Lee
  • Julia Steele Allen
  • Kelsey Van Ert
  • Kadi Diallo
  • Mo Banks
  • Special Thanks
  • Amy Kenyon
  • Jerry Maldonado
  • Kevin Borden
  • Liz Voight
  • Yvonne Maldonado
  • Lizbeth Parra Davila
  • Jim Baker
  • Hannah Hearn
  • Juan Pablo Garnham
  • Zak Rosen
  • ill weaver
  • ACCE
  • ACRE
  • Eviction Lab
  • Housing Now! California
  • MHAction
  • Public Advocates
  • PowerSwitch Action
  • Texas RioGrande Legal Aid