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University of Wisconsin graduate student resigns from teaching role, admits she falsely claimed Black identity

University of Wisconsin graduate student resigns from teaching role, admits she falsely claimed Black identity

A University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) graduate student resigned from a teaching position after they admitted on social media to falsely claiming to be a person of color.

CV Vitolo-Haddad apologized for the claims in two posts on the writer platform Medium last week and and said that they were leaving their post as co-president of the university's Teaching Assistants' Association (TAA), according to CNN.

"So deeply sorry for the ways you are hurting right now because of me," Vitolo-Haddad said in a post Sept. 6. "I have let guesses about my ancestry become answers I wanted but couldn't prove. I have let people make assumptions when I should have corrected them."

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Vitolo-Haddad published a second post on Sept. 11, stating they were of southern Italian/Sicilian heritage.

"It was my choice and error to identify any differently," they wrote.

The admission from Vitolo-Haddad comes after an anonymous post on Medium accused them of misleading the public about their racial and ethnic identity.

The Hill was not able to reach Vitolo-Haddad for comment.

A spokesperson for California State University in Fresno told CNN Vitolo-Haddad was slated to begin teaching during the 2021 fall semester, adding that the offer was made before the allegations came to light.

"We can confirm that CV Vitolo-Haddad will not be a faculty member at Fresno State," said spokeswoman Patti Waid.

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TAA Madison confirmed to CNN that Vitolo-Haddad resigned saying that the union would be canceling events Vitolo-Haddad had directly organized. 

"We condemn CV Vitolo-Haddad's appropriation of Black and Brown identities in no uncertain terms," TAA said.

TAA also condemned Vitolo Haddad's "appropriation" of Black and Brown identities in a statement posted on Twitter.

An assistant vice chancellor of university communications at UW told CNN Vitolo-Haddad is not currently a teaching assistant, adding they are a doctoral student in the university's journalism and communications school.

In a separate incident early this month, an associate professor at George Washington University admitted to lying about being Black for most of her life after it came out that she is a white Jewish person from Kansas City.