Rachel Dolezal, whose story sparked a national conversation over racial identity, is stepping down as the president of the Spokane chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
In a message to the organization’s executive committee, Dolezal said her resignation is in the best interest of the NAACP.
Dolezal made national news after it emerged that she had been presenting herself as being of mixed race when she was really born to white parents. Pictures showed that Dolezal had even undertaken a physical transformation through the years.
“In the eye of this current storm, I can see that a separation of family and organizational outcomes is in the best interest of the NAACP,” Dolezal said in a statement posted to the organization’s Facebook page. “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.”
Over her time at the NAACP, Dolezal had become a prominent figure in the civil rights movement. On Friday, as the drama unfolded, the NAACP issued a statement in support of Dolezal.
“One’s racial identity is not a qualifying criteria or disqualifying standard for NAACP leadership,” the statement read.
In her statement, Dolezal does not directly address why she identified as black, Native American and white in a government form. She does say that many have opined without knowing the full story, but she doesn’t give more details.
“While challenging the construct of race is at the core of evolving human consciousness, we can NOT afford to lose sight of the five Game Changers (Criminal Justice & Public Safety, Health & Healthcare, Education, Economic Sustainability, and Voting Rights & Political Representation) that affect millions, often with a life or death outcome,” Dolezal wrote.