A Smoking Gun report published Monday reveals that Rachel Dolezal once filed a lawsuit against Howard University for discriminating against her as a white woman.

Dolezal—who resigned from her post as president of the NAACP’s Spokane, Washington chapter today—reportedly accused Howard of discriminatory practices in a lawsuit in 2002.

The Smoking Gun reports:

Dolezal, then known as Rachel Moore, named the university and Professor Alfred Smith as defendants in a lawsuit filed in Washington, D.C.’s Superior Court. During the pendency of the civil case, Smith was chairman of Howard’s Department of Art.

Prior to the suit’s dismissal in 2004, Dolezal’s claims against Howard included “discrimination based on race, pregnancy, family responsibilities and gender”:

She alleged that Smith and other school officials improperly blocked her appointment to a teaching assistant post, rejected her application for a post-graduate instructorship, and denied her scholarship aid while she was a student.

The court opinion also noted that Dolezal claimed that the university’s decision to remove some of her artworks from a February 2001 student exhibition was “motivated by a discriminatory purpose to favor African-American students over” her.

As detailed in the court opinion, Dolezal’s lawsuit contended that Howard was “permeated with discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, and insult.”

Dolezal had to pay Howard back $2728.50 after the dismissal, as well as roughly $1000 during the case.


Contact the author at clover@jezebel.com.

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