Rachel Dolezal Sued Howard University for Alleged Discrimination That Favored African-Americans

Rachel Dolezal said Howard U. discriminated against her, favored black people.

ByABC News
June 16, 2015, 11:22 AM

— -- The former head of the Spokane, Washington, chapter of the NAACP once unsuccessfully sued historically black Howard University and the chairman of its art department for allegedly discriminating against her in order to favor African-American students, according to court papers.

Rachel Dolezal, then known as Rachel Moore, said she was denied a teaching assistant position 14 years ago based on race, among other factors, according to the judgment from the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. But the court noted that the chairman did not learn of her interest in an assistantship until after he says he had filled all of the positions.

Dolezal, 37, grabbed headlines last week after her biological parents, who say they are white, said she lied about her race and changed her appearance. 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 family and organizational outcomes is in the best interest of the NAACP," she said in a letter on the Spokane NAACP Facebook 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-TV 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, family responsibilities and gender" while 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 said the statute of limitations had expired on this claim.

As for the teaching job following her graduation, the appeals judge said 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 were then available”, according to the ruling.

The order also shot down her contention that her scholarship was terminated. Instead, it said she "did not follow the normal application process” and “in fact was awarded a scholarship … for the entire 2001-2002 year."

Howard University said in a statement this weekend it "considers this matter closed and has no further comment."