She is the woman tasked with picking up the pieces left behind from the Rachel Dolezal saga.
Naima Quarles-Burnley is the current NAACP President of Washington’s Spokane chapter, and she tells The Spokesman Review she just wants to move forward.
Quarles-Burnley replaced Dolezal in June after it was discovered she misled her constituents about her racial identity. Dolezal, who is white, portrays herself as an African-American woman.
“I feel that people of all races can be allies and advocates,” Quarles-Burnley said. “But you can’t portray that you have lived the experience of a particular race that you aren’t part of.”
Spokane’s new president was not prepared for the position, having recently undergone double knee replacement surgery, but she felt the need to step up.
Quarles-Burnley said she hopes to repair the tarnished reputation of the Spokane NAACP after the Dolezal news hit worldwide news outlets.
“I think it has hurt our organization because people are now questioning our integrity,” she said. “Not just the integrity of the former president, but the integrity of the organization a whole.”