Many have been waiting for an explanation from Spokane, Washington, NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal, following a frenzy surrounding her racial identity. Dolezal's family has suggested she has falsely portrayed herself as black, but is actually white. The wait for answers may soon be over as Dolezal plans to soon speak about the recent events, the Associated Press reported.
Dolezal sent a message to NAACP members, telling them she would address the situation -- which has been accompanied by a strong backlash and media coverage -- at a group meeting Monday, KHQ-TV, Spokane, reported. Dolezal has light-brown skin and curly hair but her parents released pictures of her as a child with blonde hair and light skin.
— Charles Wade (@akacharleswade) June 12, 2015
Dolezal, 37, also serves as chair of Spokane's Office of Police Ombudsman Commission and is an adjunct faculty member at Eastern Washington University where she teaches African studies. Her parents -- both of whom are white -- commented on the situation Thursday, saying their daughter misrepresented herself.
"It is very disturbing that she has become so dishonest," said Dolezal's mother, Ruthanne Dolezal, according to to the Coeur d’Alene (Idaho) Press.
A reporter confronted Dolezal Thursday, asking if she was African-American. When she was asked about her background, and the race of her parents, she responded, "I don't understand the question," KXLY, Spokane, reported. She also provided unclear answers in an interview with the the Spokesman Review, saying: "That question is not as easy as it seems. ... There’s a lot of complexities … and I don’t know that everyone would understand that.”
The NAACP released a statement Friday in support of Dolezal. "One’s racial identity is not a qualifying criteria or disqualifying standard for NAACP leadership," the statement read. "The NAACP Alaska-Oregon-Washington State Conference stands behind Ms. Dolezal’s advocacy record. In every corner of this country, the NAACP remains committed to securing political, educational, and economic justice for all people, and we encourage Americans of all stripes to become members and serve as leaders in our organization."