Rachel Doležal earned her MFA summa cum laude from Howard University and has lectured as a professor of Art History and Black Studies at Eastern Washington University, North Idaho College and Whitworth University. Courses she has taught include: African and African American Art History, African History, African American Culture, African American History from 1877-present, Introduction to Race & Culture Studies, The Black Woman’s Struggle, Research Methods in Race & Culture Studies, Black Women & Hair, Art Education, Introduction to Africana Studies, Race & Ethnicity, and Survey of Art. Her scholarly research focus is the intersection of race, gender and class in the contemporary African Diaspora with a specific emphasis on Black women in visual culture. Dolezal guest lectured at Spokane Community College, University of Idaho, Gonzaga University and Washington State University and was the Advisor for the Black Student Unions of North Idaho College and Eastern Washington University. Dolezal was a regular contributing writer for The Black Lens newspaper and the Inlander. Her written work can also be found in a Rutgers University textbook, The War on Poverty: A Retrospective and her early memoir, In Full Color. Rachel’s life work emphasizes racial and social justice activism, and she is a licensed Intercultural Competency & Diversity Trainer. Awards in education include: Outstanding Professor & Mentor and Keeper of the Dream Award.
Rachel Dolezal began her activism in Mississippi, where she advocated for equal rights and partnered with community developers, tutoring grade-school children in Black history and art and pioneering African American history classes at a predominantly white university. She is the former Director of Education at the Human Rights Education Institute in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and was a Consultant for human rights education and inclusivity in regional Inland Northwest public schools. She served as Chair of the Office of Police Ombudsman Commission, overseeing police accountability & justice in law enforcement in Spokane, WA and was President of the Spokane NAACP, before her personal identity was publicly criticized. Although she lost all her jobs amidst the media firestorm of 2015, she continues undeterred in her activist efforts. Dolezal has helped launch Second Chance Program, a non-profit organization aimed at reducing recidivism rates and poverty for Black youth in Antigua and Barbuda, she developed a program for Chicago’s Englewood and Austin youth, and worked with leaders in Las Vegas to improve fair housing. She continues to advocate for education reform, improvements in the criminal justice system, political representation, and accountability in policing. Awards in activism include: Bill First Human Rights Award, Woman in Nonprofit Leadership, Torchbearer Medal, and Woman of Distinction.
Rachel Doležal has twenty years of experience as an exhibiting artist and art educator. Her works have been featured in The Artist’s Magazine, shown in 14 states and displayed at the United Nations’ Headquarters in New York. She majored in art at Belhaven College (BA) and in sculpture & painting at Howard University (MFA), and her art is in the permanent collections of Tougaloo College, Howard University, Belhaven College and numerous private collections. Doležal synthesizes history and cultural studies in her art and believes that the creative process is part of what makes us human and shapes our identity in the world. Doležal instructed art as a graduate student at Howard University and helped launch the Howard University Young Artist’s Academy (HUYAA) in 2001, winning numerous awards for her talent. She taught in the Art Departments at North Idaho College and Eastern Washington University. Awards in Art include: Visitor’s Choice Award, Best of Show, Experimental Media Award, and many other gallery awards for her drawing, painting, printmaking and collage work.