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Civil Rights Reporter
Angela Phelps-White assumed duties of Executive Director of the OCRC on March 16, 2020. Director Phelps-White's professional and personal achievements demonstrate a commitment to public service and upholding the rule of law. She has broad experience in the public sector, including nearly seven years with the State Employment Relations Board, seven years at the Ohio Attorney General's Office, and thirteen years as a magistrate with the Franklin County Common Pleas Court. Director Phelps-White also served as a Judge for the Franklin County Common Pleas Court.
Director Phelps-White earned both her Bachelor of Science in Political Science and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Dayton. She has served on many boards and commissions, including Jack and Jill of America - Columbus Chapter, Amethyst, Inc., Kids Voting, and the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus. She has received numerous accolades and awards, including the Editor's Choice Award from the National Library of Poetry, Member of the Year Award from the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus, and Black Women of Courage honors.
Ms. Sweeney-Newbern has over 28 years experience in investigating, supervising and managing employment and fair housing charges for the Commission. Upon invitation, she has traveled throughout the United States speaking, teaching and training state and federal law enforcement agencies, judges, attorneys, employers, unions, fair housing advocacy groups, realtors, the NAACP, corporations and members of the general public on employment and fair housing laws.
Ms. Sweeney-Newbern has been an Instructor on fair housing laws and author of two fair housing training manuals for the National Fair Housing Training Academy located in Washington, D.C.. She is a popular motivational speaker who has presented at national and international conferences throughout the United States. During the Obama administration, she met at the White House and in Ohio with senior staff to discuss national housing policy reform.
Ms. Sweeney-Newbern has investigated or consulted in many notable cases, including a large settlement in a redlining case against Farmers Insurance in Toledo and an $850,000 settlement in a race and familial status discrimination case involving a Massillon, Ohio landlord who limited the number of African American tenants in his properties.
Ms. Sweeney-Newbern sits on numerous boards and committees including the Northern Ohio Development Agency (NODA), the Toledo Chapter of the NAACP, Toledo Community Coalition, the Toledo Chief of Police Advisory Board, Dialogue to Change and State of the State Conference Committee. Ms. Sweeney-Newbern is the recipient of various awards including The Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth Humanitarian Award, Shanna L. Smith-Spirit of Fair Housing Award, Ohio Civil Rights Commission's “Rosa Parks Medal,” the NAACP Outstanding Community Leadership Award and, the “Keeping the Dream Alive Award” for brokering the Farmers Insurance case settlement.
Desmon A. Martin serves as the Director of Enforcement and Compliance for OCRC. He is a Cleveland, Ohio native and a proud graduate of Cleveland Heights High School. He attended the University of Akron where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science/Criminal Justice with minors in Pre-Law and American Politics. He also earned an Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice Technology.
At OCRC, Mr. Martin previously served as Chief of the Office of Special Investigations where he led the investigation of complex, noteworthy and high-profile cases of discrimination. He also served as Co-chair for the agency’s Partnership Committee with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. He currently serves as the official agency liaison to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Mr. Martin has served on several boards and commissions, including the Ohio Commission on African American Males, Ohio Civil Service Employees Association Chapter 2540 and Sankofa Youth and Family Services. He also served as a youth advocate for the Franklin County Advocate Program.
Mary Turocy began at OCRC in August 2015 and is responsible for overseeing legislative affairs, communications and media relations, outreach and education, and coordinating Commission events like the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Art, Writing, and Multimedia Contest. Before starting at OCRC, Ms. Turocy served as Senior Fiscal Analyst for the Ohio Legislative Service Commission, where she specialized in higher education, conducting research and drafting budget bills for the Ohio General Assembly. Ms. Turocy also served as Senior Policy Analyst for Disability Rights Ohio, where she helped educate and inform policymakers and the public about the issues facing Ohioans with disabilities.
Ms. Turocy attended Denison University and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She then attended the London School of Economics and Political Science in the United Kingdom, earning a Master of Sciences (with Distinction) in Gender, Development, and Globalisation. Mary serves as President of the Board of Directors for Adult Advocacy Centers and is a member of the advisory board for the state's Federal Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness grant.
The Ohio Civil Rights Commission is an equal opportunity employer; we celebrate and embrace diversity and are committed to maintaining an inclusive community.