Rachel Dolezal, the Spokane, Washington, woman embroiled in a controversy over claims she is African-American and not white, has resigned as president of the local NAACP branch. In a statement posted to the branch's Facebook page Monday, Dolezal said she had become a distraction to the organization's ongoing civil rights work.
"Police brutality, biased curriculum in schools, economic disenfranchisement, health inequities and a lack of pro-justice political representation are among the concerns at the forefront of the current administration of the Spokane NAACP," Dolezal wrote. "And yet, the dialogue has unexpectedly shifted internationally to my personal identity in the context of defining race and ethnicity."
"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," the statement continues. Dolezal also promised to continue fighting for human rights.
An African studies professor at Eastern Washington University, Dolezal came under intense pressure after media reports about her true identity went viral last Friday. The 37-year-old faces a city ethics investigation in Spokane after the reports surfaced alleging she lied about her ethnicity when she identified herself as black in an application to serve on a civic commission.