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Black Lives Matter chapters call for transparency into finances, political motivations or organization

Recent calls for transparency into finances and political motivations behind Black Lives Matter have caused a split in the organization.

Recently, the BLM 10 Plus, a group of the original chapters, has demanded change from the organization. “The BLM 10 Plus continues the call for transparency and most importantly, for principled accountability in movement infrastructures. The issues we’ve highlighted within the Black Lives Matter movement are not unique to this group or to people of color. Grassroots movements have been co-opted across the globe and it is our intention to be a part of the collective creating processes based on integrity so that we, nor any other activist or advocate, encounters these avoidable issues in the future,” the group stated.

Co-founder Patrisse Cullors recently stepped down from her leadership position amid an investigation into her finances. Cullors’ finances drew attention in April after the New York Post reported she had purchased four homes for $3.2 million. Furthermore, according to campaign finance records, a Los Angeles-based jail reform group named “Reform LA Jails” founded and led by Patrisse Cullors — a co-founder of Black Lives Matter — made payments to multiple figures and organizations linked with Cullors herself — including her own consulting firm, as well as a luxury resort in Malibu.

Other leaders have faced similar investigations and arrests following inquiries into their finances. The self-proclaimed leader of Black Lives Matter, Maejor Page, was indicted by a federal grand jury on three separate counts of money laundering and one count of wire fraud, all on behalf of the Black Lives Matter Incorporated charity fund. In 2020, BLM allegedly raised over $90 million. According to reports, $21.7 million funded grants for BLM chapters and local organizations. At the end of 2020, BLM had a balance of $60 million.

Foundations typically grant between 5-8% of their assets in disbursements. In 2020, BLMGNF [Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation] committed 23% of its total assets in disbursements and charitable giving. The foundation’s operating expenses landed at $8.4 million. This number represents dollars spent on staffing, operating and administrative expenses, civic engagement, programs and field expenses, rapid response, and crisis intervention.

According to the organization’s report, “We want to uplift Black joy and liberation, not just Black death. We want to see Black communities thriving, not just surviving. These realities were not achieved in 2020, nor will they be achieved in the next year. We know systemic change takes time, so we’re in it for the long haul. In the meantime, we need to immediately support our Black communities through our own forms of funding and grantmaking. We are now an organization that intervenes on philanthropy, which is typically an anti-Black space full of bureaucratic hoops of white supremacy.”

ARTICLE: ANTOINETTE AHO

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: BLOOMBERG

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Antoinette is a community college student in Sacramento, California. She is a Politics Editor at Fact Based America, a correspondent for Campus Reform, and a student journalist. She previously worked for Turning Point USA as a High School Coordinator.

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