Mark is the Managing Attorney at the UNC Center for Civil Rights. He leads a team of lawyers that advocates for minority and low wealth communities that are fighting the continuing effects of racial discrimination and exclusion. Mark has challenged inadequate and substandard housing, lack of access to public water and sewer, the siting of environmental hazards, and school segregation. He also teaches a class in civil rights at the UNC School of Law.
Mark has taught in both the Duke and the UNC Law School Community Development Clinics, working with law students to provide legal representation to community organizations promoting economic development in under-resourced communities. He worked for Self-Help, a leading North Carolina community development corporation. From 1994-1997, he was a partner at McSurely, Dorosin & Osment, a Chapel Hill law firm concentrating on civil rights, constitutional law, and employment discrimination.
Mark has a range of experience in local government. He served on the Carrboro Board of Aldermen from 1999-2003, co-chaired Orange County’s Census 2000 Committee, and was a member of the county’s Affordable Housing Task Force. He was a board member and president of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro ACLU and has been actively engaged in a number of local civil rights and social justice issues.
Mark, his wife Bronwyn Merritt, and their three children–Esmé, Archer and Valentina—live in Carrboro. Mark and Bronwyn have deep roots in the community. For ten years, they owned and managed Hell, and popular nightclub in downtown Chapel Hill. Bronwyn also owned an art gallery and a real estate company in downtown Carrboro, and has been a member of the Orange County Arts Commission for ten years.
Mark has written several plays which he and Bronwyn produced at the Artscenter in Carrboro. Mark is also a well-known local trivia master and was interviewed by Stephen Colbert for an appearance on The Daily Show.