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Civil Rights Lawyer Follows Twisted Road To Justice

markdorosin.org

Mark Dorosin’s path to civil rights law was never straight. He followed many a winding course, skirting the optimism of teaching, exploring the pride of public office and even holding down the 9 to 5 as a manager at Blockbuster Video.

At each step, his idealism clashed with reality, leaving him to wonder how a person makes a difference in this world.

But he continued to fight the good fight right until the present. Today, he is the managing attorney at the University of North Carolina Center for Civil Rights, and a member of the Orange County Board of Commissioners.

“You look around and you see what you perceive as inequities or injustice,” he told Frank Stasio on The State of Things. “And you either decide that you’re going to do something about that, or you have to accept those.”

Early in his career, he thought teaching would be a pathway for affecting change, but the institutional barriers were too much. After a short stint in retail, he went back to school and became a civil rights attorney. But that wasn’t enough. Eventually he decided politics was for him.

“Everybody who does activism or social justice at some point has to confront the idea, ‘Boy if I could just be involved with the policy making, I could really make a difference.’”

He joined the Carrboro Board of Aldermen, but became disenchanted after one term. He owned a bar called “Hell” in Chapel Hill for a number of years. Eventually, he returned to civil rights law and decided to try his hand at politics once again.

He just started his first term on the Orange County Board of Commissioners. He is optimistic about that and happy with his work at the Center for Civil Rights. He’s hoping it will be his home for some time to come.

“I’m going to stay at the Center,” he said. “The Center is an incredible place. We’re doing really innovative civil rights advocacy.”

Alex Granados joined The State of Things in July 2010. He got his start in radio as an intern for the show in 2005 and loved it so much that after trying his hand as a government reporter, reader liaison, features, copy and editorial page editor at a small newspaper in Manassas, Virginia, he returned to WUNC. Born in Baltimore but raised in Morgantown, West Virginia, Alex moved to Raleigh in time to do third grade twice and adjust to public school after having spent years in the sheltered confines of a Christian elementary education. Alex received a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also has a minor in philosophy, which basically means that he used to think he was really smart but realized he wasn’t in time to switch majors. Fishing, reading science fiction, watching crazy movies, writing bad short stories, and shooting pool are some of his favorite things to do. Alex still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up, but he is holding out for astronaut.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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