Spokane NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal falsely portrays herself as black, family says

Dolezal's mother says the family's ancestry is Czech, Swedish and German

By Associated Press
Published June 12, 2015 3:30PM (EDT)
Rachel Dolezal               (AP/Tyler Tjomsland)
Rachel Dolezal (AP/Tyler Tjomsland)

SPOKANE, Wash. — Controversy is swirling around one of the Spokane region’s most prominent civil rights activists, with family members saying the local leader of the NAACP has falsely portrayed herself as black for years.

Rachel Dolezal is president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, chair of the city’s Office of Police Ombudsman Commission, and an adjunct professor at Eastern Washington University.

The Spokesman-Review reported Thursday that questions have arisen about her background and her numerous complaints to police of harassment. The story was first reported by the Coeur d’Alene Press.

Dolezal’s mother, Ruthanne, says the family’s ancestry is Czech, Swedish and German, with a touch of Native American heritage.

Dolezal has identified herself in application materials as white, black and Native American.

Police say they have found little evidence of racial harassment.

Associated Press

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Associated Press Naacp Race Rachel Dolezal Spokane Washington