Update - — Rachel Dolezal resigned as president of the NAACP's Spokane chapter Monday amid a furor over racial identity that erupted when her parents came forward to say she has been posing as black for years when she is actually white.
The announcement was posted on the civil rights organization's Facebook page. It said the attention surrounding Dolezal has distracted from the group's goals.
"The dialogue has unexpectedly shifted internationally to my personal identity in the context of defining race and ethnicity," according to a statement attributed to Dolezal, a longtime figure in Spokane's civil rights community who was elected to the NAACP post six months ago.
"I am consistently committed to empowering marginalized voices and believe that many individuals have been heard in the last hours and days that would not otherwise have had a platform to weigh in on this important discussion."
NAACP activist Rachel Dolezal says she "understands" some may feel she misrepresented her ethnicity, as she sparks a social media storm.
President of the Spokane, Washington branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Rachel Dolezal reportedly identified herself as part African-American upon applying for her post on the city's citizen police ombudsman commission.
But networks including KXLY say public records show her parents are white couple Ruthanne and Lawrence - who subsequently confirmed their daughter is also white.
Her mother told The Spokesman Review the family had Czech, Swedish and German roots, with "faint traces" of Native American heritage - adding that her daughter began to "disguise herself" in 2006 or 2007.
"Rachel is very good at using her artistic skills to transform herself," she told the Coeur d'Alene Press.
Social media erupted after Ms Dolezal was directly questioned about her ethnicity during an interview with KXLY, whose reporter showed her a picture of her father and asked: "Is this your dad?"
She admitted it is, before being asked: "Are you African-American?"
"I don't understand the question. I did tell you that that's my dad," she replied, before abruptly walking away.
She later told KREM news that she "understood" people may feel she had been guilty of misrepresentation.
"It's more important for me to clarify that with the black community and with my executive board than it really is to explain it to a community that, quite frankly, don't really understand the definitions of race and ethnicity," she said.
Ms Dolezal's ethnicity was further confirmed by the emergence of an image of her as a child.
Mayor David Condon and City Council President Ben Stuckart said in a joint statement that an investigation had been launched.
"We are committed to independent citizen oversight and take very seriously the concerns raised regarding the chair of the independent citizen police ombudsman commission," they said.
"We are gathering facts to determine if any city policies related to volunteer boards and commissions have been violated. That information will be reviewed by the City Council, which has oversight of city boards and commissions."
A series of online videos have since been widely shared on social media, including one in which Dolezal gives a lecture on the cultural significance of black women's hair.
Some have also pointed to a post on the Spokane NAACP's Facebook page earlier this year which appeared to identify a black man as her father.
Others openly ridiculed Ms Dolezal, with Twitter user Desus Nice writing: "Next black people's meeting expect long lines. Everybody gotta reapply #RachelDolezal."
Another Twitter user, Danielle Henderson, wrote: "Her own mame outed her. HER OWN MAMA! That is the blackest thing that ever happened to her. #RachelDolezal."
Others pointed to more serious implications, with Musa Okwonga writing: "Re: #RachelDolezal, just watch - too many will say "oh, she's just crazy", and ignore the wider conversation about cultural appropriation."