WATCH ABOVE: Former NAACP leader addresses race claims on Today Show
Rachel Dolezal, the embattled president of the Spokane NAACP, has stepped down amid allegations that she lied about her ethnicity, pretending to be black while working for the civil rights organization.
She says in a resignation letter, which was posted to the Spokane NAACP 广州桑拿网 page Monday, that despite ongoing challenges like “police brutality, biased curriculum in schools, [and] economic disenfranchisement” the “ dialogue has unexpectedly shifted internationally to my personal identity in the context of defining race and ethnicity.”
She goes on to say that she “waited in deference” as others commented on her story after her parents told a local newspaper that she wasn’t actually black.
“I am consistently committed to empowering marginalized voices and believe that many individuals have been heard in the last hours and days that would not otherwise have had a platform to weigh in on this important discussion,” she wrote.
The NAACP issued a statement Friday afternoon supporting Dolezal.
“It is with complete allegiance to the cause of racial and social justice and the NAACP that I step aside from the Presidency and pass the baton to my Vice President, Naima Quarles-Burnley,” Dolezal wrote.
Her resignation came early Monday morning the day after she cancelled a chapter meeting where she was expected to speak about the controversy, and a petition was launched calling for her to take a leave of absence.
“It’s not about race, it’s about integrity,” Kitara Johnson, a member of the chapter who organized the petition, said. “If you’re a leader, you have to have integrity. She clearly lacks integrity. The other piece is credibility.”
Read Dolezal’s full statement below: