Spokane NAACP leader cancels meeting amid furor

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What's Going on With the Head of Spokane's NAACP?

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The leader of the Spokane NAACP, Rachel Dolezal, has canceled a chapter meeting Monday where she was expected to speak about the furor sparked over her racial identity.

Her parents have said the 37-year-old activist has falsely portrayed herself as black for years.

Dolezal sent out an email Sunday canceling the monthly membership meeting "due to the need to continue discussion with regional and national NAACP leaders."

Due to the need to continue discussion with regional and national NAACP leaders, tomorrow's meeting is postponed and...

Posted by Spokane NAACP on Sunday, June 14, 2015

Shortly after her announcement, the head of the chapter's executive committee, Lawrence Brunley, questioned whether Dolezal had the right to arbitrarily cancel the meeting, KREM-TV in Spokane reported, quoting an email thread mailed to NAACP members.

"I don't see any language in the by-laws that empowers you, or any one member, to arbitrarily cancel/postpone tomorrow's meeting," Burnley wrote in his email Sunday.

Some are planning a demonstration Monday night calling for Dolezal to step down.

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NAACP leader outed as white, Rachel Dolezal
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Spokane NAACP leader cancels meeting amid furor
In this image released by NBC News, former NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal appears on the "Today" show set on Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in New York. Dolezal, who resigned as head of a NAACP chapter after her parents said she is white, said Tuesday that she started identifying as black around age 5, when she drew self-portraits with a brown crayon, and "takes exception" to the contention that she tried to deceive people. Asked by Matt Lauer if she is an "an African-American woman," Dolezal said: "I identify as black." (Anthony Quintano/NBC News via AP)
FILE- In this March 2, 2015 file photo, Rachel Dolezal, president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, poses for a photo in her Spokane, Wash. home. Dolezal is facing questions about whether she lied about her racial identity, with her family saying she is white but has portrayed herself as black, Friday, June 12, 2015. (Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review via AP, File) 
FILE - In this Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, file photo, Rachel Dolezal, center, Spokane's newly-elected NAACP president, smiles as she meets with Joseph M. King, of King's Consulting, left, and Scott Finnie, director and senior professor of Eastern Washington University's Africana Education Program, before the start of a Black Lives Matter Teach-In on Public Safety and Criminal Justice, at EWU, in Cheney, Wash. Dolezal's family members say she has falsely portrayed herself as black for years. (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review via AP, File)
In this photo taken July 24, 2009, Rachel Dolezal, a leader of the Human Rights Education Institute, stands in front of a mural she painted at the institute's offices in coeur d'alene, Idaho. (AP Photo/Nicholas K. Geranios)
(Photo via Facebook)
Washington state civil rights advocate Rachel Dolezal is seen in the NBC's "Today" show studios in Manhattan, New York June 16, 2015. Dolezal, who has been accused of falsely claiming she is African-American, said on Tuesday she identifies as black and has been doing so since she was 5 years of age. Dolezal, in an interview on NBC's "Today" television show, said a major shift in her identity came when she was doing human rights work in Idaho and newspaper stories described her as transracial, biracial and black. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
Washington state civil rights advocate Rachel Dolezal (R) hugs family member Izaiah Dolezal after her interview on the NBC's "Today" show studios in Manhattan, New York June 16, 2015. Dolezal, who has been accused of falsely claiming she is African-American, said on Tuesday she identifies as black and has been doing so since she was 5 years of age. Dolezal, in an interview on NBC's "Today" television show, said a major shift in her identity came when she was doing human rights work in Idaho and newspaper stories described her as transracial, biracial and black. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
Washington state civil rights advocate Rachel Dolezal (C) smiles toward family member Izaiah Dolezal (L) while her son Franklin (R) stands nearby after her interview on the NBC's "Today" show studios in Manhattan, New York June 16, 2015. Dolezal, who has been accused of falsely claiming she is African-American, said on Tuesday she identifies as black and has been doing so since she was 5 years of age. Dolezal, in an interview on NBC's "Today" television show, said a major shift in her identity came when she was doing human rights work in Idaho and newspaper stories described her as transracial, biracial and black. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
People cheer during a protest in front of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) headquarters in Spokane, Washington June 15, 2015. Rachel Dolezal, a civil rights advocate who has been accused of falsely claiming she is black, announced her resignation on Monday as leader of a local branch of the NAACP in Washington state. REUTERS/David Ryder
Gabe Fensler, 14, center, son of demonstration organizer Kitara Johnson and Meggie Mendoza, right, listen to a speaker during a demonstration for local NAACP chapter president Rachel Dolezal to step down Monday, June 15, 2015, in Spokane, Wash. Dolezal resigned as president of the NAACP's Spokane chapter Monday just days after her parents said she is a white woman posing as black. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
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Kitara Johnson, a member of the chapter, organized an online petition calling for Dolezal to take a leave of absence.

"It's not about race, it's about integrity," she said. "If you're a leader, you have to have integrity. She clearly lacks integrity. The other piece is credibility."

Johnson said she and others plan to peacefully protest outside Monday's membership meeting, but they will not attend the meeting.

Attempts to reach Dolezal by telephone were unsuccessful Sunday.

Dolezal was elected president of the local NAACP chapter about six months ago, The Spokesman-Review reported.

The NAACP issued a statement Friday supporting Dolezal, who has been a longtime figure in Spokane's human-rights community and teaches African studies to college students.

Ruthanne Dolezal said the family's ancestry is Czech, Swedish and German, with a trace of Native American heritage. She produced a copy of her daughter's Montana birth certificate listing herself and Larry Dolezal as Rachel's parents.

The city of Spokane is investigating whether Dolezal lied about her ethnicity when she applied to be on the police board. Police on Friday said they were suspending investigations into racial-harassment complaints filed by Dolezal, including one from earlier this year in which she said she received hate mail at her office.

Dolezal had said in a statement Friday that she would address the controversy at Monday's meeting.

"As you probably know by now, there are questions and assumptions swirling in national and global news about my family, my race, my credibility, and the NAACP," her statement said. "I have discussed the situation, including personal matters, with the Executive Committee."

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