Former student reflects on Rachel Dolezal's past - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Former student reflects on Rachel Dolezal's past

Posted: Updated:
Maddison Nilges Maddison Nilges
COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -

A media firestorm has surrounded Rachel Dolezal since news broke with allegations that she may have lied about her ethnicity. She announced on Monday morning that she would resign as the Spokane NAACP chapter president, news that was hard to hear for some in the Lake City.

"She was very smart and genuinely cares about making this community a better place," says Maddison Nilges, who attended summer camps led by Rachel Dolezal when she worked as an Educational Director at the Human Rights Education Institute in Coeur d'Alene from 2008 to 2010.

"She was very adamant that we had an understanding and respect for other people's cultures," says Nilges.

Nilges tell KHQ, Dolezal wasn't just an educator, for her, she was also a family friend of nearly 10 years. The recent allegations against Dolezal has shone a light on a woman they feel close to and still are trying to support.

"We're all kind of mixed about it," says Nilges. "I'm not sure of the whole story or why she's said what she said or hasn't said."

For Nilges, the allegations aren't important, but what is, is the impact Dolezal has had on the community.

"People need to remember that she's a person and she's done a lot of great for this community. Regardless of how this all pans out, she's done amazing things in this community for civil rights and human rights in general."

Administrators with the Human Rights Education Institute refused to comment. However, they did release a statement saying the working contributions Dolezal made during her time at the institute were greatly appreciated.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Air quality reaches hazardous levels in Spokane

    Air quality reaches hazardous levels in Spokane

    Monday, August 20 2018 9:57 AM EDT2018-08-20 13:57:41 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Windy conditions and wildfire smoke have hit the Inland Northwest hard as air quality levels rose throughout the day, ending up in the hazardous range Sunday evening. Changes in wind direction have brought over more smoke to the area from wildfires around northern and central Washington, as well as from British Columbia. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Windy conditions and wildfire smoke have hit the Inland Northwest hard as air quality levels rose throughout the day, ending up in the hazardous range Sunday evening. Changes in wind direction have brought over more smoke to the area from wildfires around northern and central Washington, as well as from British Columbia. 

    >>
  • Spokane Valley firefighters battle structure fire at apartments

    Spokane Valley firefighters battle structure fire at apartments

    Monday, August 20 2018 1:54 AM EDT2018-08-20 05:54:41 GMT

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash.- Spokane Valley firefighters are working to put out a fire at an apartment building on 6th Avenue. 

    Firefighters brought in extra resources because they were worried the fire could spread to nearby brush but they have been fighting it for about an hour. They tell KHQ that they have managed to keep it contained to one building, although there are multiple units inside. 

    >>

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash.- Spokane Valley firefighters are working to put out a fire at an apartment building on 6th Avenue. 

    Firefighters brought in extra resources because they were worried the fire could spread to nearby brush but they have been fighting it for about an hour. They tell KHQ that they have managed to keep it contained to one building, although there are multiple units inside. 

    >>
  • Suspect dies after officer-involved shooting in Spokane Valley

    Suspect dies after officer-involved shooting in Spokane Valley

    Sunday, August 19 2018 7:47 PM EDT2018-08-19 23:47:04 GMT

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - A male suspect has died after being involved in a police shooting following a standoff situation in Spokane Valley Sunday morning. Police say the matter originated as a vandalism call after a man pulled into a gas station and began breaking windows in a vehicle. They later found the male to be armed and possibly suicidal, leading to a standoff at Trent and Evergreen where he was barricaded in the vehicle. 

    >>

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - A male suspect has died after being involved in a police shooting following a standoff situation in Spokane Valley Sunday morning. Police say the matter originated as a vandalism call after a man pulled into a gas station and began breaking windows in a vehicle. They later found the male to be armed and possibly suicidal, leading to a standoff at Trent and Evergreen where he was barricaded in the vehicle. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • State will kill members of wolf pack to protect cattle

    State will kill members of wolf pack to protect cattle

    Monday, August 20 2018 12:20 PM EDT2018-08-20 16:20:26 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The state of Washington will take steps to kill members of a wolf pack that have been preying on cattle in the northeast corner of the state. The Department of Fish and Wildlife says members of the Togo pack have preyed on cattle three times in the past 30 days, and six times in the past 10 months.  

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The state of Washington will take steps to kill members of a wolf pack that have been preying on cattle in the northeast corner of the state. The Department of Fish and Wildlife says members of the Togo pack have preyed on cattle three times in the past 30 days, and six times in the past 10 months.  

    >>
  • Air quality reaches hazardous levels in Spokane

    Air quality reaches hazardous levels in Spokane

    Monday, August 20 2018 9:57 AM EDT2018-08-20 13:57:41 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Windy conditions and wildfire smoke have hit the Inland Northwest hard as air quality levels rose throughout the day, ending up in the hazardous range Sunday evening. Changes in wind direction have brought over more smoke to the area from wildfires around northern and central Washington, as well as from British Columbia. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Windy conditions and wildfire smoke have hit the Inland Northwest hard as air quality levels rose throughout the day, ending up in the hazardous range Sunday evening. Changes in wind direction have brought over more smoke to the area from wildfires around northern and central Washington, as well as from British Columbia. 

    >>
  • Beating King of Pop, The Eagles have No.1 album of all-time

    Beating King of Pop, The Eagles have No.1 album of all-time

    Monday, August 20 2018 9:30 AM EDT2018-08-20 13:30:48 GMT

    NEW YORK - The Eagles' greatest hits album has moonwalked past Michael Jackson's "Thriller" to become history's best-selling album of all-time.    The Recording Industry Association of America told The Associated Press on Monday that the Eagles' album - "Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975" - is now certified 38x platinum, which means sales and streams of the album have reached 38 million copies. 

    >>

    NEW YORK - The Eagles' greatest hits album has moonwalked past Michael Jackson's "Thriller" to become history's best-selling album of all-time.    The Recording Industry Association of America told The Associated Press on Monday that the Eagles' album - "Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975" - is now certified 38x platinum, which means sales and streams of the album have reached 38 million copies. 

    >>