Rachel Anne Dolezal (also spelled Doležal /ˈdoʊləʒɑːl, -ʒæl/; born November 12, 1977) is an American civil rights activist and former Africana studies instructor. She was president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) chapter in Spokane, Washington from 2014 until June 15, 2015, when she resigned following allegations that she had lied about her racial identity and other aspects of her biography. Though she resigned from the NAACP, the organization released a statement supporting Dolezal. She was chair of Spokane's police ombudsman commission from 2014 until she was dismissed by the city council on June 18, 2015 over "a pattern of misconduct". From 2008 to 2010 Dolezal was education director at the Human Rights Education Institute in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, before resigning due to alleged discrimination. As of 2015, Dolezal works as a hairdresser. In June 2015, Dolezal came to media attention when her white parents stated publicly that Dolezal is a white woman passing as black. Their statement followed Dolezal's reports to police and local news media that she had been the victim of nine hate crimes. Dolezal's critics contend that she has committed cultural appropriation and fraud; Dolezal contends her racial identity is genuine while not based on biology or ancestry. In a November 2015 television interview, Dolezal publicly stated for the first time since the controversy began that she was born white.