Rachel Dolezal, a former NAACP leader and professor who received national media attention after it was revealed that she was a white woman posing as African-American, has been disinvited from a speaking event at a Martin Luther King Jr. festival in North Carolina after a community backlash about her scheduled appearance.
Dolezal, who was formerly an adjunct professor at Eastern Washington University, was disinvited from her scheduled appearance at Cary, North Carolina’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Dreamfest in January. She was scheduled to participate in a panel discussion about racial identity and race relations with representatives from the NAACP.
Dolezal is the former president of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the NAACP, a position that she was forced to resign from after she was accused of portraying herself as African-American despite being born and raised by white parents.
Doug McRainey, Cary’s director of parks, recreation, and cultural resources, claims that the decision to remove Dolezal from the program was made after backlash erupted in the community.
“They made the decision about two weeks ago to remove her from the diversity summit, which we support,” McRainey said. “We had two focus group meetings with citizens and pastors, and I think the feeling was that her presence would take away from the goals of the Dreamfest.”