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Staff

Shaye Belcon, National Projects and Investigations 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. Her fair housing career began in 2013 at the Fair Housing Contact Service in Akron, OH where she worked as the FHIP PEI Program Manager. She joined the Fair Housing Justice Center in 2016 as an Investigative Coordinator and was later promoted to Senior Investigative Coordinator. In 2019 Ms. Belcon returned to her home state of Ohio, where she worked as a Project Director for a local university, overseeing a federal grant from the Office on Violence Against Women to reduce and prevent gender-based violence across campus. She is thrilled to resume her association with the FHJC, with a renewed focus on national projects and investigations.

Paul Carlson, Financial Manager
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.

Stuart de Butts, Intake Analyst
Ms. de Butts has a Master of Public Policy degree from the Frank Batten School of Leadership & Public Policy at the University of Virginia where she also received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics.  Before joining FHJC, she gained experience in civil rights law and housing policy as an intern at the Department of Justice, through her graduate thesis about a local non-profit’s emergency assistance program, and as a fellow for a community redevelopment effort created in response to the August 11th and 12th violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Lucille Duncan, Office Manager
Prior to joining FHJC, Ms. Duncan worked as a tester with Westchester Residential Opportunities and FHJC before joining the staff in her current position. She is an actress specializing in devised, immersive theater and has enjoyed an eclectic career Off-Broadway and regionally. Ms. Duncan has been privileged to contribute her time and talents to various community development and rights organizations over the years such as The New Voices Project, working in schools with Theatre for a New Audience; The Watts Village Theater Company, co-directing their first production at the WLCAC and Theaters Against War, formed to protest the war in Iraq.

Alaine Dungee, Director of Investigations
Ms. Dungee began working as an Investigative Coordinator with the FHJC in 2015.  Since joining FHJC, Ms. Dungee has coordinated hundreds of testing investigations, including complex systemic investigations, and testified in several legal cases.  She was promoted to Senior Investigative Coordinator in 2017 and, in 2021, became FHJC’s first Director of Investigations.  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, National Field Consultant
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. In 2016, he appeared in “A House Divided,” an episode from the EPIX Original docu-series called America Divided. From 2016-2019, he consulted with Newsday on the largest investigation into real estate practices conducted by any media outlet in the nation. He is featured in the resulting story “Long Island Divided” and appeared in the video documentary Testing the Divide. Mr. Freiberg is one the nation’s leading experts on the use of testing as an investigative tool to enforce civil rights laws. Mr. Freiberg stepped down as FHJC’s Executive Director after serving in this position for nine years and now works part-time on fair housing projects of national significance. 

Robert Gomes, Evidence Technician
Mr. Gomes
 worked as a tester with FHJC’s Acting for Justice program from 2008 to 2020 before joining the staff in his current position. He holds a BFA in acting from New York University.  In the course of his acting career he worked extensively on and off-Broadway, in regional theater, and in film and television. As a filmmaker, he produced and directed pieces for the news magazine Out at the Centerand he also produced the award-winning short film Deflated, a snapshot of a boy’s gender crisis.  In the nonprofit field, hhas worked in development as a campaign associate for both Amnesty International and Human Rights First. 

Elizabeth Grossman, Executive Director
In her wide-ranging career working to vindicate the rights of underserved populations, Ms. Grossman has uncovered and fought to eliminate numerous discriminatory policies, practices, laws, and other forms of bias by decision makers. Ms. Grossman joined FHJC in 2021, directly from her position as Interim Chief Legal Officer at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which she held in conjunction with her private consulting practice. She previously worked as Director of Legal Advocacy at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, where she managed operations for a department representing individuals and families living in poverty in cases relating to housing, health care, and public benefits.  Prior to that, Ms. Grossman held Program Director roles at Disability Rights New York, where she supervised teams that protected and advocated for the legal rights of people with disabilities. Ms. Grossman began her career at the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where she worked for twenty years, ultimately as Regional Attorney, running the litigation program in the New York District and as Senior Litigation Project Manager, where she had national responsibilities in support of the agency’s systemic litigation program. She attended the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan Law School.

Andrea Hayward, Investigative Coordinator
Ms. Hayward has a Master’s in Public Administration from Baruch College and a Bachelor of Science degree from Illinois State University. Prior to working at the FHJC, Andrea spent eight years advocating for adults with developmental disabilities and training direct support professional staff at YAI National Institute for Disabilities. Ms. Hayward also spent over ten years working in the arts as an Actors Equity Association Stage Manager where she worked at regional theaters, national tours, off-Broadway and participated in fundraising for Broadway Cares Equity Fights Aids.

Madhulika Murali, Legal Coordinator
Ms. Murali holds a Master of Laws degree from New York University School of Law and an undergraduate law degree from the University of Oxford. During her studies, she explored her passion for social justice work. Prior to joining the FHJC, she served as the Masiyiwa-Bernstein Fellow at the Community Justice Project in Miami, where she focused on eviction defense and racial justice work. During her law school career, she gained experience interning at several nonprofit organizations including the Center for Art Law in Brooklyn, the Anti-Trafficking and Labor Exploitation Unit in London and the Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics in Singapore.

Britny McKenzie, Policy Coordinator
Ms. McKenzie has a Master’s degree in Social Work from the Silberman  School of Social Work at Hunter College and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from Molloy College. During her studies, she discovered her passion for social justice and now focuses on housing, education, and healthcare. Prior to working at FHJC, she gained experience in both a government agency and a non-profit organization.

Frank Oleszko, Investigative Coordinator
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.

Eric Petersen, Director of Development
Mr. Petersen joins FHJC with broad experience in fundraising, and has worked since 2014 at New York based nonprofits with a focus on equity in employment and housing. Most recently, he served as the Director of Development at Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow, a Brooklyn based nonprofit that helps underrepresented young adults to access education and employment. He has also served as Development Associate with ICD-Institute for Career Development, and has worked with The Doe Fund, helping residents of homeless shelters to find housing and employment. Mr. Petersen holds a master’s degree in Urban Policy from Hunter College, and a bachelor’s degree in History from SUNY Plattsburgh. While in graduate school and immediately after, he engaged in affordable housing policy research and in fundraising efforts on behalf of organizations fighting evictions in New York.

Chip Underwood, Investigative Coordinator
Mr. Underwood has a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Johns Hopkins University. He began his civil rights work in 2008 as an intern and tester for the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), where he participated in nationwide investigations into illegal housing practices. He subsequently worked as a test coordinator in the fair housing program at the Equal Rights Center in Washington, DC, and moved on to serve the organization as Testing and Special Projects Program Manager, where he developed and oversaw nationwide testing investigations into unlawful discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations.

Gabrielle Vera, Investigative Coordinator
Ms. Vera holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Rutgers University where she was a member of the Honors Living Learning Community (HLLC). Ms. Vera is currently a candidate for a Masters of Arts in Human Rights Studies at Columbia University. During Ms. Vera’s studies she interned and worked with the NJ State Legislature and NJ Essex County Prosecutors Office. Prior to joining the Fair Housing Justice Center, Ms. Vera was a pathways trainee at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where she worked in the Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity division.

Craig Waletzko, Community Engagement Coordinator
Mr. Waletzko worked as an FHJC tester from 2009 to 2019 before joining 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.