Madeline Bacchus, Intake Analyst
Ms. Bacchus has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Peace and Justice Studies from Tufts University. Prior to working at the FHJC, she spent multiple years in the non-profit field working on women’s rights and access to resources. At the Cambridge Women’s Center, she developed a passion for fair housing while working with low-income women in Boston.
Shaye Belcon, Investigative Coordinator
Ms. Belcon holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Akron and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Cleveland State University. Prior to joining the FHJC, Ms. Belcon worked for the Fair Housing Contact Service (FHCS) in Akron, OH. At FHCS, she served as a Fair Housing Initiatives Program Manager and implemented strategies to eliminate housing discrimination and enforce fair housing laws. Before her work in civil rights, Ms. Belcon held positions in social service providing crisis intervention to victims of crime in addition to family and community-based services within a behavioral health setting.
Paul Carlson, Budget/Finance Assistant
Mr. Carlson has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Binghamton University in Environmental Studies and has also studied accounting and database management at NYU. He has over 20 years of experience with New York-based nonprofits including fair housing testing, door-to-door canvassing, environmental education, computer programing, database management, and bookkeeping.
Lizette Carrion, Senior Investigative Coordinator
Ms. Carrion has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and Politics. She has worked as an actor in television, film, and theatre since 1994. Throughout her acting career, she has contributed her time and talents to various community action groups and civil rights organizations and previously worked as a tester with the FHJC’s Acting for Justice program. Ms. Carrion is bilingual in English and Spanish. Ms. Carrion has coordinated systemic testing investigations that have resulted in the filing of numerous federal fair housing cases. She has also developed and implemented effective testing protocols for investigating lending practices.
Alaine Dungee, Senior Investigative Coordinator
Prior to joining FHJC, Ms. Dungee worked as a Court Advocate for a New York based non-profit organization dedicated to criminal justice reform. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Northern University of Arizona in Criminal Justice and a Juris Doctorate degree from Vermont Law School. During her law school career, Ms. Dungee interned for the Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS) in Washington DC as well as the Orange County State’s Attorney’s office in Chelsea Vermont.
Fred Freiberg, Executive Director
Prior to co-founding the Fair Housing Justice Center in 2004, Mr. Freiberg worked for the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice where he directed a national testing program that he helped to establish in 1992. From 1999 – 2002, Mr. Freiberg directed the field work in two national research projects conducted by The Urban Institute involving testing – a study of mortgage lending practices and the national Housing Discrimination Study (HDS). During the 1980s, Mr. Freiberg worked as a fair housing consultant for private and public fair housing organizations. Mr. Freiberg was a founder and the first Executive Director of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council from 1977-1981. Mr. Freiberg’s professional activities for fair housing span more than forty years during which time he has testified in dozens of fair housing cases, published articles on fair housing, and received numerous awards for his accomplishments in the fair housing field. He was also the Executive Producer for the documentary, A Matter of Place. Mr. Freiberg is one the nation’s leading experts on the use of testing as an investigative tool to enforce civil rights laws.
Frank Oleszko, Office Manager
Mr. Oleszko has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Arts Management from the State University of New York College at Purchase where he received the Senatorial Appreciation Award in recognition of outstanding service as Chairman of the Public Arts Council and School of the Arts Senator. Prior to working at the FHJC, Frank spent six years working in Arts Administration in fundraising, development, marketing and production for various performing arts centers in the New York metropolitan area. Mr. Oleszko is also a musician, playing drums and percussion in various genres of music.
Cooper Sirwatka, Legal Director
Prior to joining the FHJC, Mr. Sirwatka worked as the Fair Housing Program Manager at Westchester Residential Opportunities where he oversaw fair housing testing and investigations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Literature from the State University of New York at Purchase and a Juris Doctor Degree cum laude from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law where he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Cardozo Journal of Law and Gender. Mr. Sirwatka is also involved in a variety of work with LGBT young people in the Greater New York region.
Craig Waletzko, Community Engagement Coordinator
Mr. Waletzko worked as an FHJC tester from 2009 to 2019 and then joined the staff as FHJC’s full time Community Engagement Coordinator. He holds a BFA degree in Drama from Carnegie Mellon University and has worked extensively for over 30 years in film, television, regional theaters, national tours and on Broadway. Mr. Waletzko has also helped produce several independent theater productions, and has worked as production coordinator for large-scale corporate sales and training events.