The former head of the Spokane, Washington, chapter of the NAACP when unsuccessfully sued historically black Howard University and the chairman of its art division for allegedly discriminating against her in order to favor African-American students, according to court papers.
Rachel Dolezal, then identified as Rachel Moore, said she was denied a teaching assistant position 14 years ago based on race, among other things, according to the judgment from the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. But the court noted that the chairman did not find out of her interest in an assistantship until following he says he had filled all of the positions.
Dolezal, 37, grabbed headlines last week right after her biological parents, who say they are white, mentioned she lied about her race and changed her look. She stepped down from her job Monday as the head of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP.
“In the eye of this current storm, I can see that a separation of household and organizational outcomes is in the finest interest of the NAACP,” she said in a letter on the Spokane NAACP Facebook web page.
When she applied for a position at the Spokane Police Ombudsman Commission, she claimed she was white, black and American Indian, according to ABC affiliate station KXLY-Television in Spokane.
Dolezal has not responded to ABC News’ requests for comment.
At Howard University in Washington, D.C., according to the 2005 order, Moore claimed “discrimination based on race, pregnancy, household responsibilities and gender” even though she was a graduate student in art.
She also claimed her artwork was removed from a student exhibition in 2001 to “favor African-American students over Moore,” the June 14, 2005, the order says. The order mentioned the statute of limitations had expired on this claim.
As for the teaching job following her graduation, the appeals judge mentioned Moore did not apply for an advertised position with the university, but rather “dropped off her resume and a cover letter … acknowledging her understanding that no teaching positions have been then available”, according to the ruling.
The order also shot down her contention that her scholarship was terminated. As an alternative, it said she “did not stick to the regular application process” and “in truth was awarded a scholarship … for the entire 2001-2002 year.”
Howard University mentioned in a statement this weekend it “considers this matter closed and has no additional comment.”