Black Lives Matter Faces Scrutiny Over Financial Mismanagement And Nepotism

Recent documents have uncovered that leaders of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF) awarded lucrative contracts to their friends and family, raising questions about financial mismanagement within the organization. This comes as BLMGNF’s funds have dramatically decreased since the peak of the 2020 protests.

During the 2020 George Floyd protests, BLMGNF raised $80 million. However, by the end of the 2023 fiscal year, their financial reserves had fallen to under $29 million. Despite stepping down in 2021, co-founder Patrisse Cullors’ associates continued to receive significant payouts from the organization.

Paul Cullors, the brother of Patrisse Cullors, earned $200,000 in 2023 as BLM’s head of security. His company, Black Ties LLC, received an additional $1.6 million for providing security services. According to the Washington Free Beacon, since 2021, Paul Cullors and his companies have been paid over $4.2 million for their services to BLM.

BLM’s advocacy for defunding the police has been a cornerstone of their mission, with events like “Defund the Police Week” held in July last year. Shalomyah Bowers, a BLMGNF board member and associate of Patrisse Cullors, stated that defunding the police has become a mainstream demand. Bowers’ consulting firm was paid $2.6 million for staffing and management services in the 2023 fiscal year.

In addition, Damon Turner, the father of Patrisse Cullors’ child, received $778,000 for his art firm, Trap Heals, for a concert series in early 2022. Turner’s company had previously been paid nearly $1 million in 2021 for live production and media services.

The 2023 fiscal year tax return also revealed that $1.1 million was allocated to former BLM director of operations Raymond Howard and New Impact Partners, a consulting firm owned by his sister, Danielle Edwards.

Concerns about BLM’s financial practices are not new. In 2020, Patrisse Cullors allegedly used BLM funds to buy a $6 million house in California. BLM also funded a $6.3 million mansion in Canada, previously the headquarters of the Communist Party of Canada.

Laurie Styron, Executive Director of Charity Watch, criticized the lack of oversight at BLMGNF. She pointed out that charities must avoid conflicts of interest to maintain public trust. “Whether a person loves this charity’s mission or hates it, they should be angry that significant amounts of charitable dollars are being channeled to interested parties without adequate oversight in place,” Styron said. “The optics here are really, really bad.”