In a Facebook post written on June 15, Spokane, Wash., NAACP chapter President Rachel Dolezal announced she will resign her position, allowing the chapter's vice president, Naima Quarles-Burnley, to take over. Dolezal has sparked outrage and controversy since it was revealed on Friday, June 12 that the civil rights activist does not actually have any Black or African heritage, despite self-identifying as Black and listing that race on official government documents (along with White and Native American, which, her parents confirmed, are both parts of her actual racial background).
The message, which Dolezal posted to the wall of the chapter's Facebook, highlighted many of the positive changes she has helped bring about in Spokane as president of the local NAACP: "It is my hope that by securing a beautiful office for the organization in the heart of downtown, bringing the local branch into financial compliance, catalyzing committees to do strategic work in the five Game Changer issues [Criminal Justice & Public Safety, Health & Healthcare, Education, Economic Sustainability, and Voting Rights & Political Representation], launching community forums, putting the membership on a fast climb, and helping many individuals find the legal, financial and practical support needed to fight race-based discrimination, I have positioned the Spokane NAACP to buttress this transition."
The national board of the NAACP has previously stated that being of a minority race is not a necessary qualification to hold a leadership position within the organization and that it stands behind Dolezal. Though she wrote that she is stepping down because, "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 did not further clarify why she identifies as Black despite coming from a Caucasian family.