The education director of the Human Rights Education Institute in Coeur d’Alene has resigned, citing “issues of fairness and equity” after she was passed over for the institute’s top job.
“For all intents and purposes it was a forced resignation,” said Rachel Dolezal, who has worked for the past two years for the institute, which was established to combat racial intolerance through education.
Dolezal said she wrote the institute’s board of directors two weeks ago seeking to be named executive director. She also submitted her letter of resignation, contingent on the board refusing her promotion.
She said she had been performing the duties of a director and “wanted the opportunity to compete” for the job.
Instead of promoting Dolezal, the board named its new development director Dan Lepow as executive director and accepted Dolezal’s resignation.
“We appreciate all she has done for HREI and human rights,” said board president Marilyn Muehlbach.
The Coeur d’Alene Press reported on Monday that Dolezal said she was the target of discrimination, but Dolezal declined to discuss this allegation with The Spokesman-Review.
Muehlbach said Dolezal’s allegations came as a surprise.
“That’s nothing we talked about at all,” Muehlbach said Tuesday.
While she was education director, Dolezal, who is multiracial, said she was the victim of racial harassment, slurs and threats against her and her son by white supremacists.
On two occasions she reported finding hangman’s nooses tied to her garage’s rafters, and a swastika sticker on the door of the institute, The Spokesman-Review has reported.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.