Mark Dorosin has been a civil rights lawyer for over 25 years, working to address the continuing impacts of racial segregation and exclusion, including inadequate and substandard housing, lack of access to public water and sewer, the disparate siting of environmental hazards, employment discrimination, restrictions on political participation, and racial disparities in education in communities all across the state.
After graduating from UNC Law School, he was a partner at McSurely, Dorosin & Osment, a Chapel Hill law firm concentrating on civil rights, constitutional law, and employment discrimination. He worked advising small businesses at Self-Help, a leading North Carolina community development corporation. Mark was the Managing Attorney at the UNC Center for Civil Rights for almost 10 years, representing North Carolina communities challenging a range of racial injustices. Determined to continue this work after it was banned by the UNC Board of Governors, Mark helped establish the Julius L. Chambers Center for Civil Rights, a nonprofit law firm. In July the Chambers Center merged with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, becoming that organization’s first regional office.
In addition to his legal work, education has been an important part of Mark’s life. Before law school he was a high school teacher in Asheboro, North Carolina, and he also taught several classes at Alamance Community College. He was a professor in legal clinical programs at both Duke and UNC, working with law students to provide legal representation to non-profit community organizations, and teaches classes in civil rights and state and local government at the UNC School of Law.
Mark also has experience as a small business owner. For ten years, he and his wife Bronwyn Merritt owned and managed Hell, a popular nightclub in downtown Chapel Hill. Mark has used that experience to mentor and support a number of other small business owners in the community.
Mark was elected to the Orange County Board of Commissioners in 2012, and re-elected in 2016. He was chosen as Vice-Chair in 2015 and as Chair 2016-2018. He has made issues of social justice and community engagement a priority in county policy-making, focusing on poverty, affordable housing, education equity, racial and socio-economic inclusion, and broad-based resident participation in county government. With his background and experience as a civil rights lawyer, small business owner, teacher, and longtime community activist, Mark brings a unique perspective, clarity of vision, and leadership to the board.
Mark served on the Carrboro Board of Aldermen from 1999-2003, was president of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro ACLU, and served on the legal redress committee of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP. He has also written several plays, which he and Bronwyn produced at the Artscenter in Carrboro.
Mark and Bronwyn live in Carrboro, where they raised their three children — Esmé, Archer and Valentina.