Since its inception, The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF) has often come under scrutiny. Some of its most prominent critics (myself including) have always asked one significant question: where does the money go? One of the biggest criticisms of the non-profit and the BLM movement itself was the lack of transparency regarding the tangible examples of assisting the Black community. Welp, it looks like those concerns have now come full circle. Sean Campbell of New York Magazine has reported that the foundation used donation funds to secretly purchase a 6 million dollar house in 2020.
The house was purchased under the watch of cofounder Patrisse Cullors. Cullors had come under hot water before when it was reported she bought a couple of properties for an estimated $3 million. There are conflicting stories regarding the purchase of the mansion. One account is that it will be used as a space for creators. The other is that it will be a safe house for activists. Either way, given that BLMGNF acquired this property in October 2020, we need to ask why wasn’t it ever revealed, and after almost two years, how is this project not completed? The inconspicuous spending doesn’t stop there. It was also revealed that donation funds were used to pay Cullor’s brother $840,000 for “security services” and $969,000 for “event media service” done by the father of her child. Cullors left the foundation in May of 2021. Current BLMGNF leadership came out in defense of the spending. They stated, “Over $25 million has been reinvested into the Black community; that broken down represents over $10 million in grants to Black-led frontline organizations, truly doing the work of abolition on the ground. Over $13 million in grants have gone to Black Lives Matter chapters. Nearly $3 million have gone out in grants to impacted family foundations. $3 million had gone out directly for relief to Black people struggling during COVID when the administration was providing stimulus checks.” Interestingly, many BLM local chapters and other groups have often expressed their frustration regarding how the foundation operates. As time passed, people realized just how poorly run this organization was. The Mothers of the Movement organization have even requested that they stop using their dead children in any fundraising material. Can you blame them? We have seen the pattern. Use their names, raise a lot of money, and then move on to the next one. It’s sickening that they have been allowed for so long to lack transparency.
As the weeks go by, more information will continue to come out. I hope this serves as a stark warning to the Black community. For years, BLMGNF and other organizations have benefited from the death of Black men. By no means have they justified the funding that has come their way. They have garnered over 90 million dollars and have shown very lackadaisical efforts to create any infrastructure for Black communities.
To make matters worse, they have convinced corporations that all they need to do to appear as though they care about the plight of Black America is donate and sponsor BLM events. This is a decisive teaching moment. Think of the good that money could’ve done in the right hands. As horrid as the death of our brothers and sisters have been, what’s also horrible is their use of these tragedies to garner funding and then sit on their hands. We are at an impasse. They have shown us who they are. The question is, will we believe them?