New report reveals Rachel Dolezal sued Howard University for discrimination -- as a white woman

The Smoking Gun also finds that Dolezal was slapped with a bunch of fines for doing so

By Colin Gorenstein
June 16, 2015 12:45AM (UTC)
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Rachel Dolezal (KREM)

Rachel Dolezal, the NAACP’s disgraced former Spokane chapter president, reportedly sued Howard University for discrimination in 2002 while identifying as a white woman, The Smoking Gun uncovered Monday.

According to the report, Dolezal was widely known as "Rachel Moore" while attending the historically black college and sued after being denied a teaching post and scholarship, which she claimed was because she was white.


Court records found in that report reveal Dolezal had also made claims that the removal of some of her artwork -- yep, artwork like this -- from a 2001 student exhibition was racially motivated.

 The case was ultimately dismissed two years later in 2004, and ended up leaving Dolezal saddled with a bunch of fines for essentially wasting the school’s time.

Here's what The Smoking Gun reports:


Judge Zoe Bush dismissed Dolezal’s complaint in February 2004, 18 months after the lawsuit was filed and Dolezal was deposed on several occasions. Bush found no evidence that Dolezal was discriminated on the basis of race or other factors. The D.C. Court of Appeals subsequently affirmed Bush’s decision.

Following the dismissal of Dolezal’s lawsuit (and the Court of Appeals decision), she was ordered to reimburse Howard for a “Bill of Costs” totaling $2728.50. During the case, she was also ordered to pay the university nearly $1000 in connection with an “obstructive and vexatious” court filing that sought to improperly delay her examination by an independent doctor.

Read the full report via The Smoking Gun here.

Colin Gorenstein

Colin Gorenstein is Salon's assistant editor of internet and viral content. Follow @colingorenstein or email

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