Who’s In Charge of Black Lives Matter’s Millions of Dollars?

Black Lives Matter (BLM) was more than just a hashtag—it was an entire movement for racial equality, criminal justice reform, and police accountability. It was also an important cultural moment that generated significant money: In 2020, the organization received $90 millions.

The year 2020 was a landmark one in racial justice demonstrations. Minneapolis police killed George Floyd in the summer 2020. Black Lives Matter activists mobilized millions around the globe to protest this. (The cause wasn’t—and still isn’t—necessarily partisan. Even Republican Sen. Mitt Romney marched.)

This sum of $90 million represents a remarkable amount. But according to multiple media reports, two-thirds of it—$60 million—remain unspent. It is also unclear what, or how, it was spent. The biggest mystery is: Who currently manages BLM? It seems that no one has an idea. According to everyone, Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation seems leaderless. The original founders have resigned, while the people who were supposed to take over the role never took it.

All this according to bombshell media reports. They should at the most give any person considering giving to BLM pause.

Listeners who have good memories of last year will remember that Patrisse Cllors, a BLM founder, was criticized for buying several million-dollar homes during the George Floyd protests.

BLM stated that everything was going well. “Patrisse Curlors is Executive Director at Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. (BLMGNF). The role she holds is voluntary. She does not receive any salary. Since 2013, Patrisse’s total compensation has been $120,000. This includes duties like being a spokesperson or engaging in politics education. After 2019, Patrisse didn’t receive any compensation.”

That could very well be the case. Cullors is able to make money through book deals, speaking engagements, and a media production deal. Cullors is a famous activist and this lifestyle can be very lucrative. Cullors resigned from her role as president at BLMGNF, despite the negative consequences of that story.

She announced in May 2021 that Makani Themba (chief strategist, Higher Ground Change Strategies) and Monifa Bunele (chief operating officer, Time’s Up Foundation), would succeed her.

Themba and Bandele made an interesting statement just months ago in September. They stated that neither of them had ever taken the position. Themba and Bandele had failed to reach an agreement with the acting leader council, so they had to decline the role.

Themba follows up this tweet with: clarifiedShe was not onboarded and did not have access to BLM funds. Also, she had no idea how money was used.

Based on The Washington Examiner Raymond Howard and Shalomyah Howard remain on the board of BLMGNF. Bowers, “served as the treasurer for multiple activist organizations run by Cullors, including BLM PAC and a Los Angeles-based jail reform group that paid Cullors $20,000 a month and dropped nearly $26,000 for ‘meetings’ at a luxury Malibu beach resort in 2019.”

Additional reporting by New York magazine:

Reform LA Jails raised more than $1.4million in 2019 while they worked on a winning ballot initiative. Four recipients received over half the amount. Bowers, who owns the consulting firm, was sent $270,000 by the group. Asha Bandele received $211,000 as a co-author of her memoir. About $205,000 went to a company Cullors operates with her spouse, Janaya & Patrisse Consulting. Trap Heals LLC was a entertainment, clothing and consulting business that Damon Turner founded, which is the father of Patrisse’s child.

Both the AMA and the CDC consult fundraising ethicists. ExaminerAnd New YorkThe arrangements were deemed extremely suspicious by the magazine.

Paul Kamenar from the National Legal and Policy Center said that “this is grossly illegal and improper for an organization with $60 million in their coffers.” The Examiner.

CharityWatch Executive Director Laurie Styron described BLM to New York magazine as a “giant ghost ship full of treasure drifting in the night with no captain, no discernible crew, and no clear direction.”

These are damning descriptions of an organization that lead such an important—and well-funded—social movement. BLMGNF needs to be explained.